A national group is meeting in Kansas City to try and make sports safer for young athletes.
Should there be a different helmet created for young kids playing football to offer more protection? What can baseball and soccer players wear to prevent them from getting a concussion? Those are just some of the important questions talked about Friday by a national organization that sets the standards for athletic equipment most people have probably bought for their kids.
All too often people see powerful hits in professional football that have led to some serious concussions. It's a hot button issue and the people gathered in Kansas City this weekend are looking at ways to prevent concussions from youth games to the pros.
"I think the headline out of this meeting would be that we are still pushing science to come up with an answer in concussions in sports. The biggest wall we face to changing standards to address concussions is that there isn't scientific agreement on what causes it," NOCSAE Executive Director Mike Oliver said.
That's why the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment is spending millions of dollars on research to help find some answers to the complex issue.
Their new research has shown that children and women get more concussions than males playing the same sport, and one of the reasons, they said, is their neck structure is weaker.
"Basically our youth are like bobble head dolls. They have large heads and weak necks and that's a bad combination as far as brain trauma," Dr. Robert Cantu, a neurosurgeon on the NOCSAE committee, said. "One of the major plans for the future is for NOCSAE to come out with a youth football helmet standard – a standard tailored to the youth taking into consideration the particular needs of youth. The science isn't there and it isn't known how to do this in a scientific way."
But it's not just football that NOCSAE is concerned about – they set the standard for gear in other sports, like soccer.
Edson Murguia recalled how a goalie was hurt in the game.
"He was going on a one-on-one against a player and the player kneed him in the head and he cracked his skull and now he has to wear a helmet for protection," the young soccer player said.
A couple of girls who play for Bishop Miege's soccer team said they wonder what can be created in the future to prevent concussions in their sport.
"I've just seen people be out for weeks because they have headaches after headaches it gets worse," soccer player Caitlyn Sutherlin said.
NOCSAE said, besides wearing protective gear, the players themselves have to do their part to be safe on the field – no hitting the head first in football. They also said this means a person must listen to their body and look out for symptoms of a concussion such as headaches and dizziness.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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