The effect of protective headgear on head injuries and concussions in adolescent football (soccer) players

McGill Sport Medicine Clinic, 475 Pine Ave. West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
British Journal of Sports Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.03). 03/2008; 42(2):110-5; discussion 115. DOI: 10.1136/bjsm.2007.037689
Source: PubMed


To examine the effects of protective headgear in adolescent football (soccer) players.
Cross-sectional study.
Oakville Soccer Club, Oakville, Canada.
Football players aged 12-17 years.
A questionnaire examining the 2006 football season using self-reported symptoms.
The number of concussions experienced during the current football season, the duration of symptoms, injuries to the head and face and any associated risk factors for these injuries.
In the population studied, 47.8% had experienced symptoms of a concussion during the current football year. 26.9% of athletes who wore headgear (HG) and 52.8% of those who did not wear headgear (No-HG) had concussions. Approximately 4 out of 5 athletes in each group did not realize they had suffered a concussion. More than one concussion was experienced by 50.0% of the concussed HG athletes and 69.3% of the concussed No-HG group. 23.9% of all concussed players experienced symptoms for at least 1 day or longer. Variables that increased the risk of suffering a concussion during the 2006 football year included being female and not wearing headgear. Being female and not wearing football headgear increased the risk of suffering an abrasion, laceration or contusion on areas of the head covered by football headgear.
Adolescent football players experience a significant number of concussions. Being female may increase the risk of suffering a concussion and injuries on the head and face, while the use of football headgear may decrease the risk of sustaining these injuries.

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Available from: Ammar Al-Kashmiri, May 03, 2014
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    • "The results demonstrated the head responses with headgear can achieve an overall 33% reduction in linear acceleration compared with that of bare heads [8]. In a population study, Delaney et al. [5] showed that 47.8% of 440 targeted players had experienced the symptoms of head injuries during the 2006 football season. 52.8% of those without headgear were injured, while it was reduced to 26.9% for those who wore, indicating an effective protection of headgear to players. "
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    ABSTRACT: A validated anatomical finite element head model is used to simulate a scenario of front-rear head impact in football games. The impact responses of the two heads are obtained to assess head injury risks. It has been shown that when the impact velocity v = 2.5/s the possibility of inducing moderate injury is high and that for server injury is low. However, when the impact velocity v ≥ 4/s, the risks of both kinds of injuries are nearly 100%. Consequently, headgear made from energy absorption foams is used in football games to protect the players’ heads. The results show that for expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam headgear the optimum thickness is between 8 and 12 mm. In addition, the use of carbon nanotube (CNT) containing foam is proposed for headgear. The effectiveness of CNT foam as headgear is evaluated and compared with that of traditional foams, i.e., EPP and expanded polystyrene (EPS). When impact velocity v ≤ 4/s, all these foams with the density of 63 kg/m3 and the thickness of 8 mm can provide effective protection. CNT foam shows the most effective protection in two-head impact, due to its high energy absorption capacity and excellent property of being recoverable.
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    • "In addition to helmets, soccer headgear has also been proposed as protective equipment that may reduce risk of SRC. The few studies that have been conducted to evaluate the utility of these headbands have lacked consistent results (Broglio, Ju, Broglio, & Sell, 2003; Delaney, Al-Kashmiri, Drummond, & Correa, 2008; Withnall, Shewchenko, Wonnacott, & Dvorak, 2005). Broglio et al. (2003) reported that soccer headbands were effective in reducing the peak force impact of a soccer ball during ball-to-head impacts, however these results were not supported in other studies (Withnall et al., 2005). "

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    • "This means that an average player is likely to experience a concussion every other year of play. But the study also found that of those who experienced a concussion, 69 percent experienced more than one that same year (Delaney et al. 2008). This indicates that certain players are more prone to use their heads in dangerous ways. "
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