Awareness of concussions risks from contact sports has grown considerably over recent years. Recent medical studies have shown potential long term consequences from repetitive head trauma. In a Bloomberg News article this week, researchers at Brains, Inc., a company focused on the biomechanics of traumatic brain injuries, conducted tests modern football helmets and found that they reduced concussion rates only by an average of 20% in hits to the side of the head. The best helmet reduced concussion rates by 30%.
Prevention of concussions is multifaceted. professional sports leagues such as the NFL have begun to implement changes in concussion treatment protocols as well as game rules that dissuade plays where an athlete would be vulnerable to a concussion inducing hit. Sports equipment such as helmets can be vital to minimizing the potential long term consequences of such injuries and should be a continued focus of improvement.