Report: Athletes at risk for injury due to lacking safety standard for football helmets

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by Rucks Russell//11 News

khou.com

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 7:21 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 21 at 7:25 PM

HOUSTON— With millions of kids playing football on campuses across the country, some experts are pointing to a new national study suggesting many athletes remain at risk for concussions. The report points to the fact that, despite a dramatic rise in brain injuries, there remains no national safety standard for football helmets.

About 4,000 kids play football in the Houston Independent School District. Some athletes said they weren’t concerned about concussions.

“You just have to block those things out of your mind and just focus on the game,” said Brandon Fusilier-Jeffries, who plays defensive back for the Lamar High School Redskins.  “You just have to try and make the right kinds of hits and play safe.”

 The head coach of the Redskins said players are fitted with the best equipment and surrounded by highly-trained staff at all times.

“We have a licensed-athletic trainer and we have a medical doctor at every game,” said Coach Tom Nolen.

 And some local experts believe a uniform safety standard for helmets will not be a miracle cure.

“You can only go so far in these claims of protection,” said Dr. Howard Derman, who is the team neurologist for the Houston Texans, and also serves as the co-director of the Methodist Hospital Concussion Center. “These claims that football helmets can prevent concussions are just silly.”

That means the millions who play football across the country, including here in Houston, will likely remain at risk for a brain injury.

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