Football High: Helmets Do Not Prevent Concussions

Despite the improvements in helmet technology, helmets may prevent skull fractures, but they do not prevent concussions.

>>[male voice over] The research is still preliminary, and what these revelations will mean for the sport is anybody's guess. Although coaches and players are aware of the headlines, [whistle] [shout] the culture of the game remains very much as it has always been. [whistle] [Andrew Rowe, Shiloh Christian] I'd hit people a lot with my head—that's sort of my main thing. [whistle] When I didn't weigh as much, that was really my only weapon. [whistle] My helmet kind of shows all the marks and how much I've hit people. [whistle] [male shouting] Fortunately now, with the technology in helmets and the amount of padding that they have, it's basically like your head is sitting in a basket, even to the point where if I hit someone really hard, it doesn't really hurt. [whistle] [male shouting] [B.J. Maack, Arkansas Assoc. of Athletic Trainers] A helmet is not going to prevent a concussion. [male shouting] The helmet design of today—in the past, has always been about keeping the skull from getting a fracture, not a concussion. [whistle] Just because you have a helmet on doesn't make you invincible. And that's the danger that we've got to change the culture on.
Posted on BrainLine December 10, 2013.

Excerpted from the documentary "Football High." Used with permission from Frontline, PBS. www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline.