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Sports Equipment Cannot Prevent Concussions

Unfortunately there are many dubious claims made by sports equipment companies on the beneficial effects that their devices have on preventing or reducing the effects of a concussion.

Last week, experts testifying at a Senate committee hearing on concussion and the marketing of sports equipment said that there is no such thing as concussion-proof helmets, mouth guards or head bands.

"The potential harm that I see being caused by products that claim to prevent concussion when they do not is far more than simply the financial harm of paying more for something that isn't likely to work as claimed," said Jeffrey S. Kutcher of the neurology department at the University of Michigan. "The public deserves to know that equipment has a significant, but inherently limited, ability to prevent concussions."

Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W. Va.), chair of the Senate committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, said in his opening remarks that "any company that claims" its products "will protect young athletes from concussions is making an empty,

Senator Udall who has repeatedly questioned the safety claims made by football helmet manufacturers  has called for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate safety claims made by these equipment companies.  He has introduced legislation that would make it a crime to sell sporting equipment that makes false or misleading claims about product safety.

"No sports equipment can prevent all concussions," Udall said, "despite any advertising claims to the contrary."

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Comments

Jodi Murphy

While sports equipment may not be able to prevent all concussions, that doesn't mean they can't prevent a large percentage of them. Just like a bicycle helmet can't guarantee someone will walk away unscathed after getting hit by a car. It's not perfect, but it's a step in the right direction.

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