Raleigh News Station WRAL Investigates Helmet Safety
Are High School Football Helmets Safe?
In mere weeks, high school football fields across the nation will light up on Friday nights, stands filled with cheering fans. One of the most popular sports in America, football seems innocent enough; after all, it's just a game, right? Perhaps it's more dangerous than most realize.
According to High School OT, a WRAL and ESPN-produced website, each year 250,000 teen boys visit emergency rooms across the nation with sports-related head injuries, and of that number, 75,000 of those injuries occur on the football field — an alarming 30 percent. Though safety measures have improved over the years, football is still a considerably risky sport. In fact, on a professional level, head injuries from football accidents have seen quite a bit of attention in the media in recent months, as numerous former NFL players filed lawsuits against the organization.
With football season just around the corner, WRAL Investigates took a deeper look into helmet safety measures in high schools throughout North Carolina.
The team at WRAL reported that parents and coaches now have a tool, created by scientists at Virginia Tech, to help them understand the safety of their helmets. The tool, a rating scale, rates helmets' safety from one to five stars, with 5-star being the best rating on the market.
As part of it investigation, WRAL sent requests to every high school coach or athletic director in North Carolina to determine which kind of helmets their players are using. Of the 60 schools that answered the request, most used helmets with a 4 or 5-star rating. Most of the schools also reconditioned 100% of their helmets each year to ensure consistent safety as the helmets age.
According to Clayton High School Football Coach Randy Pinkowski, who spoke with WRAL as part of its investigation, "Fit is everything when it comes to injury prevention." Pinkowski also believes that recent technology in helmets has made the game safer than it has ever been.
Equipment Maintenance & Proper Coaching Crucial in Safety
Though the helmet provides a majority of the security during a game, WRAL says that proper tackling technique, combined with a good helmet can make a major difference in preventing concussions. Proper coaching and equipment maintenance is certainly a key factor in keeping football players safe.
Safety measures have improved over the years and, as WRAL reported, most schools across the state are using helmets with a high safety rating. However, accidents do happen and when they do it's important to know your rights. If your child, or you, has been injured in a sports accident due to negligence or hazards in a sporting facility, call on the experienced professionals at the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood. We will help you understand your rights and determine what is needed to hold the responsible party accountable.