Public Health New Mexico
Wed October 30, 2013
No Matter How Much You Spend On Football Equipment, Concussion Risk Still The Same: Study
No matter what kind of football helmet you buy for your teenager, the risk of concussion is still the same. That's according to a new study that looked to examine the relationship between concussion risk and equipment used to prevent injury.
The study, led by the Orthopedics and Pediatrics departments at the University of Wisconsin found the following: no equipment brand, or equipment price, reduced the risk of concussion in teenage athletes. Additionally, the concussion rate was the same for students who used brand new helmets, or helmets up to five years old. Tim McGuire, an athletic trainer with the study, says in general, helmets are doing what they’re supposed to.
“If you look at the number of times there’s contact and collisions, they really do a good job of protecting the skull,” said McGuire. “There aren’t skull fractures happening every day in football. Yes, there are sport related concussions, but we also know that we can limit some of those things with limiting the amount of intense contact, etcetera.”
With football helmets ranging in price from $150 to $400 and up, McGuire says the study could lead to significant cost savings down the road for schools and parents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, between 2001 and 2009 over 25,000 football players under the age of 19 were seen in emergency rooms for concussions.