Football Helmets – How Well Do they Protect Heads?


Football is an extremely popular sport at a professional and youth level, but the risk of suffering from a concussion while on the playing field is much higher than many people realize. Tragically, there are some concussions that lead to long-term problems and even fatalities, and recent research indicates that anyone who suffers from a traumatic brain injury will have a higher risk of developing dementia.


On a non-professional level, almost 47,000 people in the US needed treatment at an emergency room in 2009 due to a head injury that they sustained while playing football, and more than 21,800 of these injuries happened to children 14 or younger. Due to this, the entire sporting world has been taking a closer look at whether or not the current helmet design and tackling techniques should be changed.


Are Football Helmets Enough?


Most parents and professional players assume that putting on a helmet will dramatically reduce the risk of ending up with a concussion. However, when 10 of these helmets were put to the test by a team of researchers, they discovered the shocking fact that they only provide a 20 to 30 percent reduction in the likelihood of suffering from a traumatic brain injury. In other words, parents who place their trust in helmets need to be aware of the fact that they do not give their children nearly as much protection as previously believed.


How Does Tackling Impact Head Injuries?


Side impacts fared the worst during helmet testing, but the risk of suffering from brain bruising or a skull fracture was dramatically reduced by 60 to 80 percent during linear impacts. With this in mind, it is clear that helmets can serve a very beneficial purpose depending on the style of play that the wearer engages in. It is important to note that blocking and tackling leads to the largest number of catastrophic football injuries. In fact, a shocking 67.8 percent of the most devastating injuries that have occurred in football at all levels since 1977 are associated with tackling. This strongly indicates that it is important to consider removing tackling from the game or changing the way that helmets are constructed.


What Could Protect Players from Concussions?


Unless tackling is outlawed in the sport, the number of head injuries that take place on an annual basis is expected to continue to rise. Some experts believe that converting to a soft helmet would actually make it easier for the force of each blow to be absorbed more effectively, and this could lead to a large reduction in brain injuries. Unfortunately, this design does not allow a face guard to be attached to it, and this opens up the potential for increased facial injuries.


Ultimately, the coach who oversees football players at all levels is responsible for keeping a close eye on everyone for the warning signs of a concussion. If these signs are ignored or action is taken that blatantly disregards the player’s safety, it is possible that the player or parents could take legal action.


Further information can be found at for personal injury attorneys that have “the experience, the knowledge and the patience to deal with the injuries that people have had to endure due to the negligence of other[s].” Anyone who is dealing with a football related concussion should consider contacting a legal professional to determine if they have a viable case.


Teresa Stewart, professional blogger, enjoys sharing information about well-being related to the body, mind and soul. Concern over a close friend who experienced chronic neurological symptoms following a brain injury led her to research the effectiveness of football helmets.


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