N.Y. AG issues consumer alert on concussion risks in youth football

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a consumer alert Thursday about the risk of concussions to youth football players. Schneiderman reminded consumers that head injuries, such as concussions, can happen at any time on the football field, no matter what helmet is worn. Any claims suggesting a certain helmet is anti-concussive or concussion-proof may be misleading and possibly dangerous if they give parents and players a false sense of security. Parents, coaches and young football players should instead rely on tips and strategies to reduce the risk of head injuries. Such strategies include learning and recognizing the symptoms of a concussion, reducing head-to-head hits on the field and enforcing more stringent penalties against such behavior. "It's important to remember that no helmet can fully prevent a concussion," Schneiderman said. "Ensuring that manufacturers don't mislead the public and endanger young New Yorkers is a key concern for my office. Just as important, we must work to educate young athletes and their parents about how to reduce the risk of concussion and detect early warning signs on the field." New York State's Concussion Management and Awareness Act, which became effective in July 2012, requires training for athletic trainers, school nurses, physical education teachers and coaches in the symptoms and risks of concussion. A recent Virginia Tech University study of seven- and eight-year-old football players found that youth players recorded impacts to the head with severity levels compared to players found in collegiate football, even though young players play at slower speeds and have less body mass. According to the National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations, about 3.5 million children between the ages of six and 14 play in youth football leagues in the United States.

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