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OpinionLetters

Letter: No helmet will fully prevent trauma

Regarding "Helmet legislation" [News, Nov. 22], after years of research and improvements, we are realizing that current helmets do help prevent severe injury, such as fractured skulls and facial injuries. However, even the best helmet currently available cannot prevent traumatic brain injury when the head suddenly stops, and the brain slams against the inside of the skull, bruising the surface of the brain.

In football, rule changes such as eliminating spearing and head or face tackling have helped. Coaches teaching proper technique, such as tackling with the head up, and hitting shoulder-first, have been extremely helpful. However, you cannot prevent a head from hitting the ground, or another helmet.

Football helmets used by school teams are inspected and reconditioned each year by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. Helmets not meeting standards are destroyed and replaced.

Dr. Karl Friedman, Syosset

Editor's note: The writer is a former member of the National Federation of State High School Associations' sports medicine advisory committee..

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