Do they offer superior concussion protection?
According to a recent study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, advanced helmet technology and mouth guards don’t offer greater concussion protection for high school football players than standard equipment that is older. The results are in contrast to claims that have been made by helmet and mouth guard manufacturers and call into question whether they are worth the extra cost.
The 2012 study of 115 players at 36 high schools compared the concussion rates among players who wore helmets manufactured by Riddell, Zenith, and Schutt. There was no difference in concussion rates between the helmet type or based on the age of the helmets.
Surprisingly, use of the more advanced custom mouth guards resulted in a higher concussion rate.
“Because the brain is floating inside the skull, I think most experts doubt whether it is possible to ever develop a helmet design that can prevent concussions,” said co-researcher Margaret Brooks.