Most football helmets currently in use do little if anything to protect brains from the forces that cause concussions, a fact that most parents and athletes don't know. An estimated half of all football helmets in use at the high school level have either been improperly reconditioned, have foam padding that has degraded over time, or fit poorly. Only about one in five helmets is new.
Technological advances in helmet design, while they are not going to make concussions in football a thing of the past, hold out at least the promise of being able to significantly reduce the number of concussions.
The seventh right of parents under the Parent's Concussion Bill of Rights is therefore the right to know that the helmet their child is using is safe:
- Parents need to be provided information about the new helmets.
- They need to know that their child's football program thinks enough about their safety that it will find the money to buy them;
- Parents need to know that if the program can't find the money, they will have the option of buying them on their own at the least possible cost (such as through Internet "power buys") or getting together with other parents to raise the money necessary to buy every player his own advanced helmet.
- Programs need to make sure that used helmets are properly reconditioned every one to three years.
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