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Football associations hope to reduce traumatic brain injuries

Nearly everyone in Roswell has heard of the numerous former football players who are suing the NFL after they say the professional football association had lied about the danger concussions could cause among players. Although it may seem to some that these lawsuits have nothing to do with disability, they are, at the heart, about a very common cause of disability in the United States: traumatic brain injuries.

These serious head injuries can be caused by a host of different things, from impacts in football to car accidents to falls, traumatic brain injuries are incredibly dangerous and can easily disrupt people's lives.

For those with traumatic brain injuries, working may become difficult. Since many symptoms of traumatic brain injuries develop over time, someone who may initially seem fine could become totally reliant on disability benefits in the near future. Some of the symptoms can include:

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Drastic change in personality
  • Memory loss
  • Loss of balance

Although not everyone who suffers a concussion will end up unable to work, there is always that risk. Since football can be a very common form of traumatic brain injuries, many football associations and equipment manufacturers are coming up with ways to reduce the number of concussions. One of the more popular is a fabric shell that goes on the outside of a player's helmet.

The problem, however, is that the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, the organization that creates helmet certifications, has said that much of this safety equipment will make helmets ineligible for play. The committee wants "more information" before it makes changes to helmets.

Source: USA Today, “More padding the issue of concussions and better helmets,” Gary Mihoces, July 31, 2013

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