Helmet Safety and Football-Related Concussions

When it comes to sports with the most concussions, football takes a real hit. And not professional: 47 percent of all reported sports concussions occurred during high school football.

It’a common knowledge that a well-fitted helmet is important in aiding against concussions. However, testing standards for football helmets only recently included concussion prevention as part of the equation.

With concussion awareness becoming an increasingly important and discussed topic, the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) is working to create a new standard for football helmets that provides the maximum amount of protection against concussions.

Part of this new testing includes “drop tests” where helmets are dropped from various heights, analyzing a helmet’s defense against linear forces. The new testing will involve an air-driven ram to strike the helmet head-on, simulating an athlete’s head, which could move in any direction.

While the factors contributing to concussions are numerous, creating equipment that reduces concussion risks is a big step in promoting the safety of athletes everywhere.