Soccer Protective Headgear Debate

Soccer protective headgear

Manufacturer Refutes NBC Interview Criticism

We recently posted “Concussion Experts on Protective Soccer Headgear” about NBC Rock Center’s story that drew the conclusion that headgear devices such as Full90 were not effective.

Since then, the manufacturer of the product, Jeff Skeen, contacted us with the following rebuttal:

This story is completely one sided and misleading. I was interviewed by NBC for almost 4 hours. For much of the time we specifically reviewed the two peer reviewed, published studies on Full90 headgear. Yet for some reason, it was never mentioned in the NBC segment. If fact, they allowed a doctor to even imply there are no peer reviewed studies when they had them in their hands!

One of the studies titled “The effectiveness of protective headgear in reducing the incidence of head injuries among adolescent soccer players,” which was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, concluded that players NOT wearing the Full90 headgear had 2.65 times as many concussions which is about a 60% reduction for those who were wearing it. We do not make the claim, we are simply saying what an independent peer review study concluded. No study is perfect, but this was conducted by a major university and peer reviewed. Obviously like all safety equipment, we cannot use live subjects for testing and must rely upon laboratory testing. Opponents will always claim the studies had some weakness. There will always be those that claim there is not enough evidence.

The nice girl they featured apparently had 6 concussions and then began to use headgear and had several more. There is Concusison rates in girls soccernow a law in the state of Texas named after her called “Natasha’s Law.” This law requires parents and their child’s doctors to sign releases before the child can return to play after a concussion. It seems to me that the NBC segment should have focused on this, not trying to blame the headgear. There is consensus in the medical community that even a single concussion increases your risk factor of getting another by 400-600%.

There is no product that can eliminate all injuries and we certainly do not claim that ours will. We are trying to reduce the probability of injury by reducing the force reaching the head.

Keep in mind the exact arguments against our headgear are the same that were used against hockey helmets, ski helmets, seat belts, bike helmets, lacrosse eyewear, rugby helmets, and even shin guards.

Check out the story, NBC Report on Concussions – What Was Missed? which is more balanced.

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