Senator Tom Udall Calls for Helmet Safety Investigation

22 Jan 2011


Posted by Lawson

When I was growing up, my highschool engaged in frequent football games and the school got really excited during thanksgiving games. I enjoy a sport where there are winners and losers; a sport where the team that wins is the one that puts in the most work, sweat, and dedication.

What I am not fond of is players getting injured during games, since that's not what it's about. Recently I found an article in the New York Times talking about helmet safety and how certain manufacturers may be making false claims about the protection their helmets provide. Apparently there are lack luster regulations when it comes to helmets and around 500,000 football players under the age of 18 experience a concussion during the year.

Without regulations there is little room for product liability since each sport caries with it an inherent risk of injury. However, it seems providing false hope to families who's children have experience a concussion is a bit gray. These families are more susceptible to marketing that makes claims of greater safety capacity.

Here is an excerpt from the article

Udall took specific aim at Riddell, the official helmet manufacturer of the N.F.L., for its prominent claim that its popular Revolution models decrease concussion risk by 31 percent — which has been criticized by experts for years. Udall also cited how the limited test standard to which new and used helmets are held, overseen by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (Nocsae), can convey a level of concussion-related protection that the headgear is not shown to provide.

“Athletes, coaches and parents today are increasingly aware of the danger of concussion, and this awareness influences decisions about buying new and reconditioned football helmets,” wrote Udall, who last month initiated an inquiry into football helmets by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. “Athletes who have already suffered a concussion — as well as their coaches and parents — may be particularly susceptible to misleading marketing claims about helmet safety.”

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/04/sports/football/04helmets.html?_r=2&sc...

What do you think about current helmet safety regulations?
Should stricter guidelines be pursued or is it just part of the game that
people need to accept?

Let me know in the comments...