Health Watch - Athletics: Helmets

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


Fall kicks off the school sports season. This week on Health Watch, we’ll talk about what student athletes need to know about staying safe on the playing field or in the gym. For football players, the helmet is one of the most important pieces of safety equipment, but it’s not enough to protect the brain.

The head-on collisions of football carry a risk for head injuries. Helmets offer some protection, but Dr. Ramón Díaz-Arrastia, a neurologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says repeated blows to the head, even with a helmet, increase the risk for brain injury. That’s why it’s important for players to resist the urge to return to the game after they’ve had an injury from a blow to the head. Coaches and athletic trainers are increasingly aware of the danger of multiple blows to the head and know to monitor players for signs of concussion.

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September 2010


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