Football helmet redesign can reduce concussion risk | Science News



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Football helmet redesign can reduce concussion risk

Comparisons of head impacts when wearing the Riddell VSR4 or Riddell Revolution (shown) football helmet showed that the Revolution could reduce the risk of concussion by more than half. The foam in the Revolution is 40 percent thicker than in the VSR4 helmet.

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No helmet will ever eliminate the risk of sustaining a concussions during a football game. But tweaking the design may slow the speed of head movements after a hit and reduce the concussion risk.

Scientists studied the biomechanics of more than 1 million head impacts of collegiate football players over six years to compare the concussion rates of two types of helmets currently on the market. The Riddell Revolution reduced the concussion risk by almost 54 percent compared with the Riddell VSR4, the team reports January 31 in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

Riddell is the “the official helmet of the NFL," but that will no longer be true at the end of the 2013 pro football season.

The results suggest that continuing to improve helmet design can reduce concussion risk.

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