So, Whaddya Think?
My Opinion: Football Is Safer With Kevlar Helmet Inserts
Donna O’Donnell Figurski
As a youth football coach, I am infuriated that more isn’t being done to spread the word about a great product out there that would greatly reduce the number of concussions. I came across it two years ago. It’s cheap, and you’d think the powers-that-be would jump all over it. Nope!
Southern Methodist University (SMU) did a study when their football players used this inexpensive piece of equipment in their helmets. The concussion rate dropped impressively.
American football is really a safe sport, considering the amount of contact involved. It’s just garnering the most attention because of the National Football League (NFL), where you have much bigger, stronger, and MUCH faster athletic men trying to hit each other. It’s controlled violence.
Coaches now go through a lot of training on how to teach kids the proper way of tackling and how to recognize the possibility of a concussion. Trust me, it is probably the most important issue that’s been addressed on the field in the last few years. I’m glad concussions are finally being addressed. All in all, at the youth level, football is still pretty safe as compared with other sports. High school, college, and the pros are where you see concussions pick up. (The non-helmeted sports, like soccer and girls’ lacrosse, don’t get nearly the attention they should. For the life of me, I can’t understand why helmets are not worn in girls’ lacrosse.)
What’s the flip side of removing some of these sports for youths? The kids may then get into trouble doing crazy stuff. As kids, we did crazy stuff just being boys, and I played football.
That equipment I mentioned above is a helmet insert from Unequal Technologies. It’s a pad lined with Kevlar, the same material used in military helmets. It inserts into each helmet and disperses the energy from an
impact throughout the pad, reducing greatly the severity of the impact itself. Unequal Technologies also promotes a headband for helmetless sports.
(Disclaimer: The views or opinions in this post are solely that of the contributor.)
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