AAP: Helmet Brand Doesn’t Impact Sport-Tied Concussion

(HealthDay News) – For high school football players, neither specific helmet brands nor custom mouth guards correlate with a reduction in sport-related concussions (SRCs), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics, held from Oct. 26–29 in Orlando, FL.

Margaret Alison Brooks, MD, MPH, of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and colleagues examined whether football helmet brand and mouth guard type are associated with the incidence and severity of SRC in a cohort of 1,332 football players from 36 high schools (mean age, 15.9 years) during the 2012 football season.

The researchers found that there were 116 SRCs sustained by 115 players (8.6%). The rate of SRC was not significantly different with the type of helmet worn (Riddell, 9.5%; Schutt, 8.1%; and Xenith, 6.7%; P=0.454) or with the year the helmet was purchased (2011–2012, 9.3%; 2009–2010, 7.9%; 2002–2008, 8.8%; P=0.745). There was no significant difference in the severity of SRC (days lost) by helmet type (P=0.883). Players who wore a specialized or custom-fitted mouth guard had a significantly higher SRC rate than players who wore a generic mouth guard (relative risk, 1.9).

“Our preliminary findings suggest that neither any specific brand of football helmet nor custom mouth guards result in fewer concussions in kids who use them,” Brooks said in a statement.

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