Many student athletes, parent, and coaches are under the misconception that helmets are regulated and built to withstand concussion-sustaining impact. However, the helmet industry recieves no such governmental regulation or other independent oversight. The present standard is for helmets to withstand skull fracturing impact and has not been modified since it was first written in 1973. The problem is that recent studies have revealed a rising rate of concussions in youth football and how the these injuries can cause short- and long-term problems with memory, depression and other cognitive functions – this is especially true in children. Even industry insiders agree that the current helmet standards are not up to day with the modern football and its associated injuries.
Concussions, typically marked by confusion, disorientation and nausea following a blow to the head, are trickier to prevent than skull fractures. A wide range of forces can cause the brain to hit the side of the skull and scientists have yet to determine a common threshold of withstainable force amongst youth football players. If you would like to read more on this topic please see As studies reveal that concussions are increasing in youth football players, the helmet industy receives criticisms.
Coachers and athletic trainers need to be watchful for symptoms of concussions. If a youth athlete sustains a forceful hit to the head, he or she should be kept out of play until medical attention is sought.