Student Well-Being

Senators Question Validity of Football Helmet Safety Claims

By Bryan Toporek — October 21, 2011 1 min read

The ESEA markup isn’t the only education-related excitement happening on Capitol Hill this week.

Some senators and medical witnesses spent Wednesday on the attack against youth sports equipment makers for potentially misleading advertising.

They specifically criticized the football helmet makers who advertise their products as being able to reduce concussions, despite no scientific evidence proving such.

“Now that athletes, coaches and parents have a better understanding of concussions, some sports equipment makers appear to be a taking advantage,” Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said at a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing, according to the Associated Press. “There are a number of so-called, quote, anti-concussion and concussion-reducing devices on the market. ... We need to make sure advertisers play by the rules.”

Earlier this year, Udall introduced legislation that would give the sports equipment industry nine months to upgrade the safety standards of football helmets. If they failed to make substantial changes, the Consumer Product Safety Commission would be required to step in and develop the new safety regulations themselves.

Currently, the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment oversees the safety standards on football helmets and other athletic equipment. NOCSAE currently does

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.