Football is one of the most dangerous contact sports that most Americans love to participate in. Reports indicate that a single player can receive as much as 1500 hits to the head during a single season. With every hit, the probability of having a concussion is highly probable. As such several studies have established a link between football and traumatic brain injuries, such as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association clearly links such a condition to repetitive head traumas as a result of head collisions when playing football. Wearing one of the best football helmets could have been a way to limit head and neck injuries. If you read on you will find some interesting tips on how to use a football helmet to get the best protection from doing so.
In the specified study, the researchers examined the brains of 202 dead people who had played football at various levels (from high school to the NFL). The brains used in the study were donated to a brain bank at Boston University for further study. The researchers who analyzed the brains for signs of CTE also spoke with the player’s family members concerning the history of the deceased football player.
The study revealed that 87% of the players have CTE. 99% of the 111 NFL players had CTE, however. The study also indicated that as the players played, even more, the CTE symptoms they displayed also progressed. What is even more alarming is the fact that even the NFL’s senior vice president for health and safety, Jeff Miller, admits that there is a link between such a brain condition and football.
Head-related injuries are not common only in football. Statistics proved that there are about 3.8 million sports-related concussions that occur in the United States every year. But as a high-impact collision is most common in football, there is a great probability that every youth, adult, even professional football player gets hit in the head every single game. Without an appropriate head cover, the effect of the impact could be life-threatening. A concussion is a common occurrence in football, especially in professional football.
If your children are participating in this sport, they will always be required to wear the appropriate helmet. There are instances that you have to buy one either for you or your kids, however. If you are on the lookout for one, your first question might be, “what could be considered the best concussion-proof football helmet?”
Cleveland Clinic Certified Athletic Trainer Bob Gray says that there is not one helmet that can prevent concussion. For the best protection, what athletes or players need is “proper hitting, tackling, and blocking technique,” he adds.
Even then, any football player needs to wear a helmet as it is safety protection that limits the possibility of experiencing serious injuries, like the skull and facial fractures, eye injuries, penetration injuries, as well as brain bleeding. What gives most football players and their loved ones is the fact that all football helmets do a great job of providing the protection required in a contact sport such as football.
However, there could still be a possibility that you could be wearing one or be picking an inappropriate football helmet? But how do you know if it is the right helmet? How do you find the right-fitting helmet?
Here are some of the things that you need to do to make sure that you or your child will be wearing the helmet that fits right on the head.
- Make sure that the helmet meets NOCSAE standards. The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) is the organization that certifies whether helmets and other athletic gear are safe. You’ll find the NOCSAE see stamped on the back of the helmet you choose. While using a NOCSAE sealed helmet, make sure that you won’t alter the helmet in any way. Any change you make will invalidate the certification.
- Be mindful of the size of the helmet that you will choose. Even though each helmet brand comes with a sizing chart and instructions for fitting and helmet care, there may still be a possibility that you may choose an ill-fitting helmet. To find the helmet that will fit well, make sure to measure the athlete’s head circumference with a tape measure. Wrap the tape measure about an inch above the eyebrows. Use the measurement to choose the proper helmet size. For a size of a helmet that will fit a measurement that is between sizes, go with the smaller one.
- Make sure that you try the helmet on to make sure that it fits well on you or whoever will wear the helmet for a proper fit. Pull the helmet in position and make sure that the helmet feels comfortable even when worn after some time. It should sit well on the forehead and should not move or slide as you move. It should not be too tight or not too loose. If applied pressure, it should feel evenly distributed and not concentrated on any part of the helmet. Ask a more experienced wearer of the helmet to help you or your child when fitting helmets. You should also remember that a helmet should fit well and secure even without fastening its straps.
- Choose a model with a style that feels and fits right. Every head requires a different-fitting helmet. That is why it is important that you let the one who would be wearing the helmet to choose the right model and style he or she would like to wear. Just make sure that everything about the helmet is resting where it should be.
- Have your helmet re-conditioned after every use. Make sure that you have a NOCSAE-licensed reconditioner has recertified your helmet before reusing it. Reconditioned helmets are also sealed on its back to indicate that it passed recertification. This is usually done after a year or two.
It may take some time to find the best football helmet, but it will be always worth the effort as your concern will be the safety of the wearer.