Concussions on the Football Field

With football season underway, it’s crowded in the stadium and in the doctor’s office.  Many of us have witnessed a player shaken up and carried off the field after a big hit.

Parents and coaches are placing a premium on safety and are worried about concussions and short and long term effects on young athletes.  40,000 football players suffered from a concussion last year, so researchers at the University of Wisconsin wanted to find out if new equipment would be one way to prevent a concussion. 

Dr. Alison Brooks, leading researcher at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine said “I think we were a little surprised that the age of the helmet didn’t seem to make a different. You think maybe an older helmet has seen more contacts maybe the padding inside the helmet is getting less absorbable but we did not find that the kids in the older helmets were getting concussions at a higher rate.

This research comes at a time when sports equipment manufacturers are marketing expensive football helmets claiming they offer better protection against concussions.

Dr. Brooks offered her own insight to I want to give parents is not that football helmets aren’t important but maybe that $500 helmet is not protecting your child any better than $150.00 helmet that met the same testing standards. 2:08

We don’t want kids to stop playing football but we do need to advocate safety.  Don’t push your child back on the field if they have not fully recovered from a concussion. Remember: a concussion is a brain injury.

I’m Dr. Sue with TKD helping parents take charge.

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