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High school football concussions and helmets

One major safety concern in recent times in high school football here in Oklahoma and nationwide is concussion risk. A significant area of focus in addressing this injury risk has been helmets. Given this, some might find the findings of a recent study somewhat puzzling.

Over the course of two seasons, the study tracked 2,081 Wisconsin high school football players to see if they suffered any concussions. The researchers then looked at the data obtained during this tracking to see what sort of factors influenced the concussion risk of the players.

One of the more notable results of the study was what was found to not have impacted concussion risk. The study found that differences in the brands of the helmets players wore and differences in the ages of the helmets players wore had no risk impacts.

Things that the study did find to have impacts on concussion risk were: whether a practice was no-contact or contact, whether a player was in practice or in a game, whether a player had suffered a sports concussion in the past year and whether a player's mouth guard was generic or custom-fitted.

Does this study mean that the characteristics of a high school football player's helmet have no impact on the level of protection the player has from concussions? When one looks carefully at the study, one can see that the answer to this question is no. The study's findings do not touch on all characteristics of a helmet, just its age and brand. There are a great many other characteristics of a helmet: such as if it is a proper fit for the player using it, whether it has been properly maintained and whether there were any defects in its design or manufacturing. One could see how such characteristics could very much go to the issue of what sort of concussion protection a helmet could provide a player.

The main point to take from the study instead seems to be that concussions in sports are a very complex thing that a wide range of different factors can contribute to. Complexity regarding cause is not something that only is present when it comes to sports concussions. Other types of brain injuries can also see this complexity. Thus, when brain-injury-causing accidents occur, victims may want to seek out the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney when it comes to investigation of cause.

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