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Helmet Choice Has No Impact on Concussions

October 29, 2013

la84_SL_102913_brain_injury_ research_instituteDespite claims to the contrary a recent study has determined that the brand of football helmet a youth athlete wears makes little difference when it comes to concussion prevention.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Health experts have some bad news for high school football players: There is no particular type or brand of helmet or mouth guard that will keep you relatively safe from a concussion.

The companies that make helmets and mouth guards often claim that their own products can reduce players’ risk of a sports-related concussion or lessen the impact of a concussion that does occur. These manufacturers cite “laboratory research” that purports to show one brand is safer than others, and a group of researchers wanted to see if they could verify such claims, according to a summary of a presentation they made Monday at a national meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

And after a young athlete suffers a concussion, the decision to return to the classroom is almost as problematic as the decision to return to play.

Again, from the Los Angeles Times:

After a child has a concussion — whether under the Friday-night lights or in a jungle-gym accident — the return-to-play deliberation has gotten plenty of attention. But there’s mounting evidence that returning to the rigors of academic activity too soon also can slow healing and exacerbate symptoms. Yet parents, patients and physicians have gotten scant advice on how to manage a child’s return to learning after a concussion.

For the first time, a new report in the journal Pediatrics systematically addresses that deliberation. The report underscores that, for a child with mild traumatic brain injury, the noise and chaos of school hallways, the eye strain of classroom instruction and the mental calisthenics of homework and tests can tax the brain at a time when its energies are needed for healing.


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