You don’t have to follow football closely to have heard the news that lasting effects of the concussions football players suffer have lasting effects. Football players are at a high risk for concussions. As with many other sports, high school and youth football players are at an even higher risk of concussions. The constant impact that a football player endures can increase the risk for concussions.
In the last few years, many studies have been released about the long-term effects of concussions that football players are at a higher risk for. The information goes back several years but seems to show a correlation between the different builds of the modern football players. Today’s football players are bigger, stronger and faster than ever before and this is a recipe for a dangerously high concussion risk.
The impact when two bodies collide at full speed or when a player hits the ground is severe. Helmet to helmet hits and helmet to body hits can result in a force equal to 1,600 pounds. There is also danger when a player hits the ground and when the other 10 players on the field pile on them. Shoulders helmets and limbs all slam together creating a high risk for concussions for every player in the pile.
As with many contact sports, youth and high school football players are at an even high risk for concussions. The head to body ratio is an important factor because the body can’t absorb as much of the impact, causing the head to jerk back and forth or around, much as it would in a car accident. Researchers have also found that the “team before self” mentality of high school football players leads to players not actually reporting their head injuries. Football players put themselves at risk for concussions or repeat concussions because they do not want to let their teammates down.
You may have been hearing reports about the helmets being a major factor and future changes to lower the risks for football players. This may not be the answer, however. The football helmet was never designed to protect the brain. It was designed to protect the skull from fracture and so far the helmet is meeting those expectations. Even if there are improvements and changes made to current helmets, the helmet itself is no guarantee against the high risk of future concussions for football players.
Football is an exciting high impact sport. It’s also a dangerous sport, putting football players at a higher risk for concussions. Before signing your child up for little league football it might be a good idea to talk to a practitioner that is experienced and educated in concussions and the lasting effects of them.