Brian Kelly

(KMOX)-The football helmet has come a long way since the leather worn in the 1930’s. Today’s are packed with the latest technology aimed at preventing head injuries.

Biomedical engineer Stefan Duma recently led a study of helmets conducted at Virginia Tech University.  He tells KMOX that while older helmets can provide adequate protection, it’s worth the investment to get newer helmets, “All the manufacturers, the newer helmets are so much better and we showed they’re statistically significantly better than the older helmets.”

Duma says the shell and facemask designs haven’t changed much over the years, so older helmets are adequate if they’re properly reconditioned, “Put new pads and update it, in theory, it should be just as good as a new one.”

Duma encourages coaches, players and parents to inspect their helmets often, “Make sure the pads are together and the chin strap is not cracked.”

He says it’s also very important that the helmet fit properly.

But Duma says that while older helmets can work, he says if the school district or team can’t afford new helmets, it might be worth it for the parents to make the necessary investment to protect their young players.

He says, however, the best way to prevent head injuries, is to avoid contact with the head, through proper technique and rules enforcement.

Click here to learn more about Virginia Tech’s helmet study.

Copyright KMOX Radio



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