- Collins CL, et al. Am J Sports Med. Feb. 24, 2016, http://bit.ly/1V5800M.
High school football players who experienced concussions had the same symptoms for the same length of time when wearing two of the most commonly used helmet brands, according to a new study.
Researchers also found properly reconditioned helmets provided similar protection to new ones in terms of symptom types and duration. The study did not calculate concussion incidence rates based on manufacturer or helmet age.High school football players who experienced concussions had the same symptoms for the same length of time when wearing two of the most commonly used helmet brands.
“All of the approved helmets evaluated in our study performed similarly,” Dawn Comstock, Ph.D., senior author of the study and associate professor of epidemiology at the Program for Injury Prevention, Education and Research at the Colorado School of Public Health, said in a news release. “Increased cost does not necessarily translate to improved safety.”
All helmets worn by high school football players must meet national standards. To test effectiveness, researchers looked at data from the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study from the 2008-’09 through 2012-’13 school years. During that time, football players experienced concussions at a rate of 8.2 per 10,000 athlete exposures. Roughly 58.5% of the concussions took place in competition and the remainder in practice.
Athletes sustaining concussions most commonly experienced headache, dizziness and/or difficulty concentrating.
Symptoms and the amount of time they lasted were similar when wearing the most common helmets regardless of whether the helmet was new or reconditioned. However, 23.9% of players wearing new helmets saw their symptoms resolve in less than a day compared to 14.5% wearing older helmets that had not been reconditioned.
“All helmets, new or reconditioned, should be checked regularly for damage that could impact their effectiveness in preventing brain injuries and skull fractures,” the authors said.