There has been a great amount of talk and research on sports related concussions and brain injuries. I ran across this article on the importance of proper helmet fit for football players. Whether it is football, biking, hockey, or any other sport that helmets are used, proper fit is essential to decrease brain injuries in sports.
Good Football Helmet Fit Key to Preventing Brain
By By Lisa Esposito
HealthDay Reporter | HealthDay – 43 mins ago
FRIDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) –
While football helmets don’t prevent concussions, good helmet fit might help reduce
loss of consciousness that can follow a blow to the head, a new study finds.
Expensive, high-tech helmets with
air-lining systems aren’t much better than vintage “leatherheads” for
preventing concussions, the researchers said.
“The occurrence of concussion
has been constant for the past 30 years: whether it was a leather helmet, whether it was a plastic helmet with web suspension, whether it was
a plastic helmet with foam, or one with the new combination air cells and
padding,” said study author Dr. Joseph Torg,
an adjunct professor of orthopedic surgery at Temple University in
The researchers looked at data from
the U.S. National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance System from
2005 to 2009. Of the nearly 1,400 kids who sustained a concussion, 44 lost
consciousness and 267 experienced amnesia.
Injury reports addressed helmet fit,
type of inner-helmet padding and whether the helmet was new or reconditioned.
“Youngsters who had a
concussion, if the helmet fit, they had 82 percent less chance of loss of
consciousness,” Torg said. “Helmets — and advanced helmet technology
– do not prevent against concussions or the severe intracranial injuries of
hemorrhage [bleeding] and brain swelling.”
The researchers also analyzed
previous studies comparing types of helmets.
Older, reconditioned helmets did as
well as new helmets. But unpublished data suggested that helmets with
air-bladder linings might be a risk factor, because they tend to leak and can
deflate if not maintained properly.
Wendy Norris, head athletic trainer
at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md., said her responsibility
for player health includes gear safety, and it’s standard practice to inspect
helmets before each game.
“We have helmets certified
every year, and the day before games we always check them to make sure they’re
fitting well,” said Norris, a certified athletic trainer. “It’s an
ongoing process. Sometimes I’ll see somebody on the field and say, ‘Hmm, I
don’t like how that looks.’ And we adjust it.”
Higher-tech helmets with improved
air-cell systems cost about $250 to $350 each, Norris said. An advantage is
that company representatives come out to the schools and educate trainers and
coaches on proper fit.
Torg said the big question is,
beyond helmets, what sets apart the four to six football players who suffer
catastrophic injuries from concussion each year?
“Our thesis: there’s a
combination of factors that predisposes those small numbers of
youngsters,” he said. The factors are mostly unidentified, he added,
noting they could be congenital, anatomic, or even related to air temperature.
“A kid who has a severe
concussion has a number of predisposing factors, one of which is probably a
helmet that doesn’t fit,” Torg said. “If you remove that component,
then maybe the problem is solved.”
Torg’s study was presented at this
month’s annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
in San Francisco.
Athletic trainer Norris suggested
some “easy landmarks that parents can look for,” with helmet fit:
- Players’ eyes should be visible.
- Helmet ear holes should line up with players’ ears.
- Cheek pads should sit next to the skin, without a big
- The back of the skull should be covered.
- Mouth guards shouldn’t be chewed up and hanging out of
players’ mouths. They should fit past the second molar on both sides.
Molded is better because that helps absorb the shock when players get hit
in the head.
- The helmet shouldn’t shake or rattle. If you grab the
facemask and the chin strap is tightened up all the way, you should not be
able to move the facemask left or right. It should stay neutral.
- Find out if helmets are recertified every year.
“They should be,” Norris said. “But a lot of schools can’t
afford that.” One way you can tell: there should be a sticker at the
back of the helmet with the year.
If you think something’s wrong, ask
the trainer or the coach, she advised.
Players also have a role, the
“We tell them for sure not to
customize the helmet in any way,” Norris said. “A lot of them want to
cut the forehead pads or cut the cheek pads to make them thinner. We definitely
And, she added, “they should
also have their coaches check their helmets at least every week or two weeks,
just to make sure everything’s good.”
The data and conclusions of research
presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published
in a peer-reviewed journal.
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention to learn about concussion in sports.
Sources of salt in our diet concern all of us. This article surprised me on the source of most of the salt in our diet. Please enjoy.
CDC : Bread beats out chips as biggest salt source
Updated 3h 31m ago
ATLANTA–Bread and rolls are the No.
1 source of salt in the American diet, accounting for more than twice as much
sodium as salty junk food like potato chips.
the sodium comes from common restaurant or grocery store items. Some foods that
are consumed several times a day, such as bread, add up to a lot of sodium even
though each serving is not high in sodium.
Most of the sodium comes from common
restaurant or grocery store items. Some foods that are consumed several times a
day, such as bread, add up to a lot of sodium even though each serving is not
high in sodiAds by GoogleJimmy John’s Sandwich
That surprising finding comes in a
government report released Tuesday that includes a list of the top 10 sources
of sodium. Salty snacks actually came in at the bottom of the list compiled by
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Breads and rolls aren’t really
saltier than many of the other foods, but people tend to eat a lot of them,
said Mary Cogswell, a CDC senior scientist who co-authored the report.
Salt is the main source of sodium
for most people, and sodium increases the risk of high blood pressure, a major
cause of heart disease and stroke. Health officials say most Americans get too
much salt, mostly from processed and restaurant foods — not added from the salt
Experts have known that the sodium
in breads and certain other foods can add up, but even CDC officials were
amazed that just 10 foods are responsible for 44 percent of the sodium
According to the CDC, breads and
rolls account for about 7 percent of the salt that the average American eats in
a day. Next on the list: cold cuts and cured meats; pizza; fresh and processed
poultry; soups; fast-food hamburgers and sandwiches and cheese.
Rounding out the list — and
accounting for about 3 percent each — are spaghetti and other pasta dishes;
meatloaf and other meat dishes and snacks like potato chips and pretzels.
Dietary guidelines recommend no more
than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, equal to about a teaspoon of salt.
Certain people, such as those with high blood pressure, should eat even less.
But average sodium consumption in the U.S. is around 3,300 milligrams, the CDC study found. Only 1 in
10 Americans meet the teaspoon guideline.
The amount of sodium in food types
can vary. For example, a slice of white bread can have between 80 and 230 milligrams
of sodium. A cup of canned chicken noodle soup has between 100 and 940
milligrams and 3 ounces of luncheon meat has between 450 and 1,050 milligrams.
A small 1 ounce bag of potato chips ranges from 50 to 200 milligrams.
The new CDC report is based on
surveys of more than 7,200 people in 2007 and 2008, including nearly 3,000
children. Participants were surveyed twice, each time answering detailed
questions about what they had eaten over the previous day. Researchers then
broke down what they ate into categories, and assigned sodium amounts.
Salt reduction has become a recent
focus of public health campaigns, and some major food makers have taken steps
or announced plans to gradually reduce sodium in their products.
CDC officials — who have long
encouraged people to eat more fruits and vegetables — stopped short of advising
people to lay off the bread. But they are encouraging consumers to read labels
and, for example, buy brands of bread that have lower sodium.
“People can choose how much
salt to add to their food at the table. They can’t take it out once it’s
there,” Frieden said.
There’s another way to consume less
sodium. “Eat smaller portions,” Hayes