How Effective Are Football Helmets at Preventing Brain Injuries?
April 20, 2022
Millions of spectators watch football games every year. While it can be fun rooting for your favorite team, you may not realize the impact continual hits may have on athletes. Young athletes with brains that are still developing are particularly susceptible to brain injuries, including concussions.
Effectiveness of Football Helmets Preventing Brain Injuries
According to Kids Health, “No helmet can prevent concussions.” Instead, helmets can protect against skull fractures and open-head injuries. However, they cannot prevent the brain from moving inside the skull. When the brain collides with the hard bone of the skull, the victim can suffer a concussion.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also states, “There is no ‘concussion-proof’ helmet.” Football players are at a high risk for brain injuries due to the force of impact of tackles. When someone has suffered a traumatic brain injury, they are more vulnerable to suffering similar injuries in the future. They are also more likely to suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is a serious degenerative brain disorder.
Additionally, football helmets lose their effectiveness over time. They are less able to absorb force, so they do not protect players’ heads as much. Additionally, helmets that are not well-fitted are also less effective and can make things worse if the player gets hit or falls because they create more movement around the head and neck.
Signs of a Concussion
Concussions are one of the most common types of brain injuries. They are considered “mild” traumatic brain injuries, although consequences can be quite serious. Concussions develop after a blow to the head. Signs of a concussion include:
- Brief loss of consciousness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance problems
- Altered senses, such as loss of smell, altered taste, or sensitivity to light
- Blurred or double vision
- Disorientation and confusion
- Problems concentrating
- Problems sleeping or sleeping for longer periods than usual
Diagnosing a Traumatic Brain Injury
Healthcare providers may use the following methods to diagnose a traumatic brain injury:
- Evaluation – Your doctor may evaluate the signs and symptoms you are experiencing and review your medical history. You may then go through a period of observation to see how you are responding to the injury and treatment.
- Image testing – Your doctor might recommend brain imaging if you are displaying more serious symptoms following a head injury, such as a CT scan or MRI.
- Neurological examination – Your doctor may test your coordination, reflexes, and other functions as part of a comprehensive neurological examination.
- Cognitive testing – Your doctor may evaluate your memory, recall, and concentration.
Treatment for Brain Injuries
Individuals who suffer from concussions or other mild traumatic brain injuries are often instructed to:
- Get between 8 to 10 hours of rest
- Take breaks from activities that cause symptoms
- Avoid caffeine
- Avoid or limit screen time
- Nap during the day, as needed
- Avoid sports and dangerous activities that could cause another head injury
- Maintain regular sleep times
- Rest your brain and body
- Avoid driving
- Take mild pain relievers
Contact a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Lawyer for Help with Your Claim
If you or your child suffered a brain injury and you believe that someone else is responsible for your injury, Aitken * Aitken * Cohn can help you pursue compensation for the losses you suffered. Contact us today for a free case review.