Parents who have kids who play football can rest a little bit easier: Manufacturers are going to stop refurbishing helmets that are more than 10 years old.
The New York Times reported that the trade association that monitors the refurbishing of old helmets, the National Athletic Equipment Reconditioners Association (Naera), on Thursday said it would no longer take helmets that were more than a decade old.
There is a rub. High school and youth football governing bodies only require that helmets pass a standard that has been set by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (Nocsae). According to The Times, that basically means that old helmets can be worn by young players, even if those helmets are really not protecting kids from concussions the way they should.
Schools can have their football helmets reconditioned on a voluntary basis.
So what’s the bottom line?
“Naera’s decision to reject helmets more than 10 years old will force organizations to choose between purchasing new helmets or putting youngsters in used helmets known to be less safe,” according to The Times.
In fact, the newspaper quotes some experts that believe now old helmets will be put out of circulation.
Naera is reacting to pressure that started when the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) began a probe of football helmet safety. And Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., also requested that the Federal Trade Commission investigate the two major helmet makers, Riddell and Schutt, for allegely making false claims about the safety of their helmets.
There has also been a call in Washington for a hearing on football helmet safety, including the use of old helmets, The Times reported.
Even though experts warn against the safety risk of using old helmets, the National Federation of State High School Assocations has lets schools decide what kind of helmets they want to use, including old ones. Why? New helmets cost more than refurbished ones.
School budgets are getting cut these days, but someone better find the funds to pay for gear that protects our kids.
Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
firstname.lastname@example.org :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.