The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research suggests the following four measures to reduce or prevent serious injury (concussion, traumatic brain injury, spinal paralysis) or death in football:
- Continued emphasis by coaches and officials on enforcement of the 1976 rule change which prohibited initial contact with the head in blocking and tackling (spearing).
- Continued research in helmet safety.
- Improved medical care of the injured
- An emphasis on placing certified athletic trainers in all high schools and colleges.
- There should be a written emergency plan for serious injuries such as concussions and traumatic brain, neck or spine injuries both at the high school and college levels.
- Improved coaching to teach the fundamentals of proper blocking and tackling which avoids helmet-to-helmet contact. Indeed, teaching proper tackling technique might solve as much as "half the [concussion] problem," according to Kevin Guskiewicz, an athletic trainer and researcher at the University of North Carolina Injury Prevention Center, chair of UNC's Department of Exercise and Sports Science, and a leading concussion expert.
Updated June 12, 2014