Study Of Modern Football Helmets Questions Ability To Protect From Brain Injury.

by Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC on December 14, 2011

in Buffalo Brain & Head Injury Issues

Most of the people using football helmets in the Buffalo area do not play for the Buffalo Bills.  Instead, they are elementary, high school and college students playing at a scholastic level.  While football is a violent sport, every effort should be made to keep these young people safe.  Unfortunately, a recent study by the Cleveland Clinic indicates that modern style football helmets may not be the ideal way to protect youth from head injury.

The study tested modern football helmets and the old, leather helmets used decades ago to judge their ability to protect the head from low and medium impact hits – the degree that would commonly occur among youth – at a variety of angles.  The extremely hard hits that may occur at the NFL level were not tested.

Surprisingly, the study found very little difference between the two styles of helmets.  In some cases involving these lower level impacts, the leather helmet proved to actually be more effective at protecting the head.

The researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have indicated that they hope this finding will lead manufacturers to re-examine helmet design for youths.  The helmets currently used are essentially scaled down versions of professional style helmets.  These helmets are optimized to protect the head against the extremely hard hits seen at that level of play, but do not seem as effective at preventing head trauma from the lesser hits experienced by most youth when playing football.

If your child has suffered a head injury and you have any questions, we would be happy to help you.  Please feel free to call us at 716-542-5444.

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