Technology and Regulation of Sports Helmet Safety

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In American football, helmets are required to decrease traumatic brain injuries and have been successful in doing so. A large part in the success of helmet design is improvements in technology. The sizes of athletes have gone up to make football more dangerous. To protect against brain injury, helmets designs have changed to become heavier and wider, filled within the space are energy absorbing materials, air space and padding to protect the skull upon impact. Originally, helmets were designed to prevent only traumatic brain injuries, but technology is advancing to fill the gap of concussions. Until recently, the seriousness of concussions were not considered part of the equation that needed to be addressed, so manufactures did not utilized in constructing helmets to address this issue (Post et al. 653). Upon predicting risk of concussions in tests, by themselves linear and rotational acceleration are not suitable measurements for modern helmets. These testing measurements do not address the rotational forces and minor hits to the brain which are associated with concussions (Post et al. 654). Given the seriousness of concussions in contact sports, more attention is given to prevent and reduce concussions through testing methods and advancing technology, stronger regulation and changes to the sport. As stated in the article involving the National Football League (NFL), “The risk involved in playing sports are also very real. The NFL is struggling with serious mental and physical health problems because they sustained repeated mild traumatic brain injuries, is what concussions are called. (“Concussions and Marketing of Sports Equipment” 6). In addition, future innovations and designs are on the way to further reduce head impact res... ... middle of paper ... ..., and Stefan M. Duma. "Development of the STAR Evaluation System for Football Helmets: Integrating Player Head Impact Exposure and Risk of Concussion." Annals of Biomedical Engineering 39.8 (2011): 2130-140. Print. Rowson, Steven, Gunnar Brolinson, Mike Goforth, Dave Dietter, and Stefan Duma. "Linear and Angular Head Acceleration Measurements in Collegiate Football." Journal of Biomechanical Engineering 131.6 (2009): 061016. Print. Viano, David C., and David Halstead. "Change in Size and Impact Performance of Football Helmets from the 1970s to 2010." Annals of Biomedical Engineering 40.1 (2012): 175-84. Print. Viano, David C., Chris Withnall, and David Halstead. "Impact Performance of Modern Football Helmets." Annals of Biomedical Engineering 40.1 (2012): 160-74. Print. Walter, Kevin. "No Evidence That Helmet Add-ons Reduce Concussion Risk." AAP News 2013: 1-3.Print

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