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Bogus Safety Claims on Helmets

The Federal Trade Commission has already started coming down on companies that manufacture safety equipment, such as helmets and protective pads, charging them with making unsubstantiated claims about products that can ''prevent" concussions.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman plans to hold them accountable as well.

"No helmet can actually really prevent concussions from happening," says the A.G.

And he knows what he's talking about.

Erin Weaver, Director of Family Services and Policy Development at the Brain Injury Association of New York State says, "Although helmets are made to prevent serious injury, there is no helmet that can prevent concussions."

Hamish Kerr, a sports medicine specialist at Albany Medical Center, says while helmets do protect the skull, a concussion can still occur while wearing one.

Kerr says when a player takes a hit, "the brain moves inside the skull. That movement is something brain cells do not tolerate well."

That movement can cause a concussive injury.

"The helmet can prevent the skull from being fractured," adds Kerr, "but it cannot prevent that movement within the skull."

Kerr says there's really no way to completely prevent injury, but believes the benefits of participating in such sports outweigh the risks.

Especially if you take precautions like wearing protective gear and familiarizing yourself with how to recognize the signs of a brain injury.

More information about concussion awareness is available through the Brain Injury Association of New York State.

http://www.bianys.org/
 
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