A Children’s Sports Athletic Equipment Safety Act to be introduced in the House of Representatives Thursday would require new and reconditioned football helmets to adhere to testing standards and address the needs of students under age 12. A similar bill has been drafted in the Senate. The sport has the highest incidence of sports concussion and each season 20% of high school players suffer brain injuries.
New Jersey resident Belinda Washington forced her son to stop playing high school football because of helmet safety. She said that the padding becomes very worn after years of re-use, making helmets less protective. Washington became aware of the issue when she began working in a brain-injury lab, but said that more Black parents should be aware of the risk their children face, particularly since lower-income school districts are more likely to reuse helmets, as well as the symptoms associated with concussion and brain injury.
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