Helmets necessary in football

Published 12:00 pm Friday, September 18, 2015

It’s football season. Time for children and adults to hit the green fields and throw around some pigskin.

There’s a pretty important thing to remember though when suiting up and hitting the field for a game, or even a practice — a helmet.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds residents every fall about concussion prevention and stresses that it is everybody’s job to watch out for them. The CDC has put out online resources to be sure everyone is educated, because, after all, most people are in football stadiums regularly this fall in some capacity.

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An alarming statistic is researchers say more than half of high school football players and 70 percent of college players fail to report concussions they receive on the field. That means coaches, trainers and even fans need to be alert to watch out for their on-field heroes and know the warning signs.

Those common warning signs are loss of consciousness, dizziness, trouble with balance, disorientation, inability to concentrate, nausea and vomiting, slurred speech and sensitivity to light or sound.

The CDC reports 90 percent of people who endure a concussion actually don’t pass out, and if they do it could even just be for a second.

If the player happens to show some signs after a hit to the head, even though it’s painful and not what’s wanted by the individual or fans, it’s crucial to just sit out the rest of the game. The possibility of winding up with a second concussion is too risky to the health and lifetime well-being of the individual. Watch the player for at least three to four hours to watch for any more brain danger.

If a concussion does happen, the National Institutes of Health estimates about 80 to 90 percent of people will recover in a week to 10 days.

Unfortunately, there is no concussion-proof helmet. Though, experts are constantly working to improve helmet technology and the helmets even from 10 years ago can’t touch what we have now. So, parents and fans can feel a little more confident with athletes on the football field. While football, since tackling is involved, is generally the most risky, hockey, lacrosse, wrestling and soccer can get pretty physical.

Let’s keep a watch out for our friends and family on the field and by being safe with questionable incidents. It will help ensure he or she can suit up again for time to come.