News & Studies

More Children Visiting Emergency Room With Sports-Related Head Injuries, But Admissions Remain Steady, Study Says

The number of emergency department (ED) visits for sports-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) has risen over the past ten years, but the percentage of admissions has remained unchanged at about 10%, reports a new study. The study also reported a welcome trend towards admitting children with less severe TBI, which experts say may reflect a more cautious approach to management of brain injuries involving greater emphasis on in-patient observation to watch for signs of a serious brain injury, less routine use of CT and MRI scans, and less reliance on parents to observe their children for such signs at home in borderline cases.  

PBS Stations Begin Airing "The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer"

The Brooke de Lench documentary, "The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer," will be broadcast on PBS affiliate stations across the country beginning September 17, 2013.

Coaches Can Play Important Role in Encouraging Athletes To Report Concussion Symptoms, Studies Find

A growing number of studies challenge the conventional wisdom that inadequate athlete concussion knowledge is the principal barrier to increased concussion symptom reporting.  Because educating youth about the dangers of concussion is unlikely to improve concussion reporting, they say other ways need to be found to increase reporting, among them being to enlist coaches to help create an environment where athletes feel safe in reporting.

NFHS Partners with USA Football to Advance Player Safety

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has partnered with USA Football to advance high school football player safety on a national level by endorsing USA Football's Heads Up FootballSM program.

"The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer" Film Screening at The Micheli Center

The Micheli Center for Sports Injury will be hosting a free screening of the just-released informative PBS documentary, "The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer," on Wednesday, August 21st at 7:00 PM. Dr. William P. Meehan, III, Director of The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention and a featured expert in "The Smartest Team," and the documentary's producer/director, Brooke de Lench, Founder of MomsTEAM.com, will be on hand after the screening to answer questions parents, coaches and athletes have about the making of the film or about concussions in general.

NOCSAE and Helmet Sensors: An Ounce Of Prevention

There is still confusion about the recent position, or should I say positions, taken by NOCSAE over the past month, first deciding that the certification of any helmet with a third-party add-on would be viewed as automatically void, then, this past week, making a 180-degree U-turn and leaving it up to the helmet manufacturers to decide whether affixing impact sensors to the inside or outside of a helmet voided the certification.  Unless you read my article on NOCSAE's original decision and Lindsay Barton's this past week on its clarification, and perhaps even if you did, you are probably scratching your head and wondering what the heck is going on!

Well, I am scratching my head, too.

With all the controversy surrounding NOCSAE's recent rulings on the effect of third-party add-ons on helmet certification, what Brooke de Lench and others are wondering is why NOCSAE isn't asking the helmet manufacturers to explain to them and the rest of us how a 2-ounce piece of plastic stuck to a 4+ pound football helmet has them so worried?  Whether the NOCSAE rulings were intended to put the brakes on the market for helmet sensors to give the helmet manufacturers time to catch up, it is hard to see how it won't have exactly that effect, she says.

NOCSAE Clarifies Stance On Voiding Of Helmet Certification With Add-Ons

The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) has clarified its stance regarding voiding of certification for helmets to which third-party after-market products have been affixed.  Instead of automatically voiding the certification, NOCSAE will now leave it up to helmet manufacturers to decide whether a particular third-party add-on affixed to the helmet, such as a impact sensor, voids its certification.

PBS Premieres "The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer" August 14th & 20th, 2013

The Brooke de Lench documentary, "The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer," will have its world television broadcast premiere on the Oklahoma Educational Television Association (OETA)(PBS) on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:00 p.m. CDT.

Head Hits During Practice Can Be Safely Reduced in Youth Football, Study Suggests

Less contact during practice could mean a lot less exposure to head injuries among young football players and the kind of repetitive subconcussive blows that some researchers suggest can lead to long-term brain injury, and does not result in higher impact exposure during games, according to a new study.

NOCSAE Voiding of Certification For Sensor-Equipped Helmets: A Big Blow To Player Safety

Last week many of the technology manufacturers who have been working diligently to produce products to make helmeted sports such as football safer were dealt a severe, if not crippling, blow by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) when, out of the blue, it decided to view modification of helmets with third-party after-market add-ons as voiding its certification, which could only be regained if the helmet is retested with the add-on. Newcastle Racers wearing three different football helmets

Brooke de Lench believes that the new NOCSAE ruling voiding the certification for sensor-equipped helmets could not have come at a worse time, just as football - from the youth level to the NFL - is gearing up for the 2012 season. If not reversed or modified, de Lench fears that it will have harsh real-world consequences; not just on sensor manufacturers but on player safety and consumer choice.
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