Experts try to ease athletes' trips to ER with better helmets

Published On: Aug 27 2013 10:06:21 AM HST   Updated On: Sep 11 2013 04:48:01 AM HST

By Mayo Clinic News Network

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports up to 170,000 young athletes go to the emergency department every year for possible traumatic brain injuries that include concussion.

Many of those concussions happen on football fields. So, Mayo Clinic experts are teaming up with high school coaches to help make it safer for players.

They're hosting helmet fitting sessions to teach how athletes’ heads should be properly protected.

“No helmet can eliminate the possibility of a concussion happening, but the idea of a properly fitted helmet is to reduce

the severity of a concussion if it should happen," said John Williams, an athletic trainer at the Mayo Clinic.

Williams offers the following tips on how football equipment should fit:

“Check the helmet for any kind of cracks, any kind of loose straps or clips.

Then measure the players head one inch above the eyebrow. Next, spray the player down to simulate sweat during a

game. When the helmet’s on, it should be one inch above the eyebrow. If it’s too low, pump air into the air bladders inside the helmet."

“Make sure chin straps go underneath the facemask. You want to make sure ear holes line up with the ears and make sure the back of the head is covered.”

"And the pads inside the helmet should be in good shape. Replace them if they’re not.“

"We want a good fit, but not one that’s too tight that can cause a headache after 30 or 40 minutes on the field.”



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