Is refurbishing a football helmet enough to keep athletes safe? – FOX13 News Memphis


Studies show that high school football players have more concussions than in any other sport.

FOX13 has learned that all of our high schools reuse helmets.

It would be prohibitive to buy a new one every year for each athlete, as the headgear starts at $ 250 each.

Some schools will reuse a helmet for up to eight seasons of hard knocks.
They are forced to refurbish these helmets, but is it enough?

The football season is here. In a world where hard knocks are applauded and tough players get the “w,” there’s only one thing between their skull and a critical brain injury: the helmet.

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Many parents, like Mike Pare, have said, “We try to make sure our son has the best, newest and best equipment. “

But, even that is not enough.

Dr John Hyden works at the Campbell Clinic. He treats concussions in athletes of all ages and said, “We don’t have a helmet that is going to prevent a concussion.”

Dr Hyden said all you can do is try to make sure the helmet is the best it can be. It’s difficult.
Cost is one of the reasons.

Headsets rated as safest by Virginia Tech research start at over $ 200 and go up to $ 2,000.
A hard blow can put it out of service.

Christian Brothers high school football coach Thomas McDaniel said: “An obvious crack that I can see, but there are often hairline fractures in these shells that you cannot see with the naked eye.”

The National Operating Committee on Standards for Sports Equipment establishes guidelines for sports equipment. He recommends that every helmet be reconditioned and re-certified every two years.

Bartlett High School football coach Chester Ford told us, “Every year we get them checked that they’re supposed to have two years of reconditioning. After eight years, you get rid of it and buy new ones.

We contacted many school districts including Shelby, DeSoto and others.

We found that they all followed the national standard and reconditioned every two years. but some like Millington and Christian Brothers … recondition “every helmet, every year”.

Coach McDaniel said: “They’re going to replace the whole interior, the guts, the jaw pads, all the air pads that have ruptured. They replace them, and then they scan the shell to make sure. “

The National Sports Equipment Standards Operating Committee: “In a helmet over five years old that has been regularly reconditioned, the only part of the helmet that is actually 5 years old is probably the shell. “

FOX13 asked Dr Hyden if this was enough?

Because let’s face it, most schools can’t afford to replace 50 to 250 headsets every few years.

“The real answer is we don’t know.”

The other factor is in shape.

If the helmet is not fitted properly, it will not work.

Coach McDaniel summed it up: “It’s just about education. Realizing that this is a tough game, injuries can happen and there is no surefire way to guarantee that you won’t get a concussion.

All we can do is fit them right, try to practice smart and teach proper techniques, and hope for the best. “

Here are some links to learn more about helmet safety for all sports.

NOCSAE standards on sports equipment:


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