08 July, 2011
The Best Football Helmets for Preventing a Concussion
.888 concussions occurred over a 3 season period among 17549 high school and collegiate level football players according to a study. Concussions occur far too regularly on youth, high school, collegiate and professional fields every year.
Education and Research
Much of the effectiveness of the helmet is linked to coach and player education. The helmet itself must manage the impact energies when helmet to helmet contact or helmet to surface contact occurs according to researchers at Virginia Tech University.
This is significant considering the aggression displayed on the field and the amount of concussions and head injuries reported as a result. The Riddell 360, Rawlings Quantum Plus, Xenith X2 and Riddell Revolution Speed score best for helmets reducing concussion risk in comparison to other helmets when evaluated using the STAR rating system.
Teach players to keep their head and eyes up when they hit. Young players especially need reminding multiple times a day-- never lower their head when tackling.
Reteach and Review
Teach and reteach youth and high school players in proper use. Never use a football helmet without the NOCSAE, National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, warning label on the exterior.
- Annals of Biomedical Engineering: Development of the STAR Evaluation System for Football Helmets: Integrating Player Head Impact Exposure and Risk of Concussion
- Annals of Biomedical Engineering: Brain Injury Prediction: Assessing the Combined Probability of Concussion Using Linear and Rotational Head Acceleration
- Virginia Tech Wake Forest University: Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings
- Marcia K. Anderson: Foundations of Athletic Training
- NOCSAE News: NOCSAE Urges Athletes and Parents to Get the Facts
- NFL News: NFL says concussions, ACL injuries decreased this season
- Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine: Head Impact Exposure in Youth Football
- The American Journal of Sports Medicine: Epidemiology of Concussion in Collegiate and High School Football Players
- Injury Prevention and Control: Heads Up- Concussion in Football
- Hawaii Journal of Medicin and Public Health: Redesigning Football Helmets to Reduce Concussion Risk
- NFL Data Points: History of the NFL Football Helmet
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images