It doesn’t matter what brand of football helmet you’re using, what year it was manufactured, or whether it’s “rated” for sports related concussions (SRCs); the type of football helmet you use will not prevent concussions.
That’s the gist of a new study presented at the American Academy of Paediatrics. The study involved 1,332 football players at thirty-six high schools for the duration of the 2012 football season. Players completed a health questionnaire in the preseason, and coaches and trainers recorded the instance of SRCs during the season.
Equipment included helmets manufactured by Riddell, Schutt, and Xenith, manufactured between 2002 and now. Mouth guards included generic ones issued by the school, customized ones fitted by dental professionals, and even ones marketed as being able to reduce SRCs somehow.
According to the research, the brand of helmet or year in which it was manufactured made no difference to the rate or severity of concussions. Interestingly, generic mouth guards seemed to preform better than the allegedly concussion-preventing ones.
So, in the market for a less concussion-prone sport? Try rugby; those guys don’t need helmets to look tough.