A new study examining the increasing reports of concussions on the nation's football fields has some startling news for parents: There's really no such thing as a safer helmet.
The report, issued Oct. 28 at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference, indicates that researchers found that the brand, or even the age, of helmets worn by high school players made no difference in their risk of concussion.
"Despite what manufacturers might claim, newer and more expensive equipment may not reduce concussion risk,” wrote lead co-investigator Dr. Margaret Alison Brooks. “So is it worth the significant extra cost to families and schools?"
And in another surprise development, the study found that players wearing custom-fitted mouth guards actually suffered higher rates of concussions compared to players who did not wear mouth guards.
Researchers concluded that parents and coaches should not rely on specialized helmets to prevent sports-related concussions.
In October 2012, Boise Weekly examined new measures, passed by the 2012 Idaho Legislature, meant to protect Gem State football players.
The new law says that if an athlete younger than 18 years old "has sustained a concussion or head injury and exhibits outward signs or symptoms of such ... then the youth athlete shall be removed from play." The athlete will only be allowed to return to play once he or she is "evaluated and authorized to return by a qualified health care professional who is trained in the evaluation and management of concussions."