INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – On Friday, the group National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) voted on new rules for football helmets as concerns over concussions continue to grow.
NOCSAE sets safety standards for sports equipment.
They say football helmets used today are designed to protect the brain from direct blows when the player’s head moves back and forth, but not necessarily when the player’s head spins, causing the brain to stretch and twist.
On Friday, NOCSAE approved a revised football helmet standard.
In 2016, NOCSAE will require helmets to pass certifications for rotational concussions. That’s when the impact makes the head suddenly spin, rocking and shearing the brain.
This is the first helmet standard to include testing for forces specific to concussion risk.
Football helmets must pass tests for linear concussions – where the head rocks back and forth from direct blows.
Right now, NOCSAE says there are no helmet standards specific to youth; currently they’re covered under adult standards.
Research is now being done to develop a standard specific to youth.
In May, the director of NOCSAE told I-Team 8 that youth football concussions aren’t tracked because they’re often undiagnosed and the injury risk criteria for youth players isn’t clear.
Since new rules won’t apply to youth helmets, experts say parents need check helmets if their kids play football.
- Ask the school the helmet’s make and model and research it.
- Check helmets for cracks.
- Find out when it was last checked by an expert.
NOCSAE says most helmets are certified every few years and shouldn’t be more than 10 years old. Helmets should have a sticker inside showing when they were last certified.