Head Games: Safety Measures

By: Phil Jean Email
By: Phil Jean Email

Football is a violent sport that can lead to serious and sometimes deadly injuries.
The American Journal of Sports Medicine found that catastrophic head injuries were 3 times more likely among high school players as college players.
And according to New York Times research, in the last 10 years, at least 50 high school or younger football players have sustained serious head injuries on the field.
Debbie Tolsma, head athletic trainer at Godby High School, says, "We're very serious at the high school level and we want to make sure that these kids are safe and we take every precaution necessary from protective gear to pre-physical evaluations."
Brad Miles, head athletic trainer at Valdosta High School, says, "First thing of course, we want to prevent them before they happen. That's part of my job and the coaches job and we do our very best to make sure they keep their heads up, they block properly, that they're tackling properly and we have the right equipment."
They do that by showing an instructional video called "Heads Up" which shows how bad technique can lead to serious injuries.
Miles read the warning label off of a helmet and it reads, "No helmet can protect you from a serious brain or neck injury including paralysis or death. To avoid these, do not engage in the sport of football. Well, this is a football helmet. How can you avoid engaging in the sport of football?"
That's a good question but Miles showed us that helmets have done plenty to make the game safer. They've added more padding, a 4-point chin strap, the shell of the helmet has been made bigger and the facemask is further away from the face.
All measures to designed to increase safety for players, but still danger lurks at every snap of the football.


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