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Concussions on Capitol Hill

Posted Jan 10 2011 4:52pm

I’m sure you can think of a few folks on Capital Hill who you’d swear had suffered from a concussion, but this post isn’t about them.

If you remember, I wrote about concussions several months ago, as there has been a startling increase in the number of concussions among today’s youth.  Now, those on Capitol Hill are getting involved.  New Mexico Senator, Tom Udall is formally requesting that the Federal Trade Commission investigate what he called “misleading safety claims and deceptive practices” by helmet company, Riddell, the official helmet of the National Football League.

According to the NY Times article :

Udall took specific aim at Riddell, the official helmet manufacturer of the N.F.L., for its prominent claim that its popular Revolution models decrease concussion risk by 31 percent which has been criticized by experts for years. Udall also cited how the limited test standard to which new and used helmets are held, overseen by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (Nocsae), can convey a level of concussion-related protection that the headgear is not shown to provide.

“Athletes, coaches and parents today are increasingly aware of the danger of concussion, and this awareness influences decisions about buying new and reconditioned football helmets,” wrote Udall, who last month initiated an inquiry into football helmets by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. “Athletes who have already suffered a concussion as well as their coaches and parents may be particularly susceptible to misleading marketing claims about helmet safety.”

As I said in my previous post, I think we have to ask “why” these concussions are happening.  As better helmet will certainly help the situation, and I commend Senator Udall on his efforts.

If you have children who play football, what is your #1 concern?  If you’re a coach, what are your top concerns and/or priorities in regard to your team’s on-field safety?

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