Medical Edge: Concussions

Posted at: 08/23/2013 2:11 PM
By: Kenny King

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- 15-year-old Tyler Sloan, number 17 is no stranger to concussions.
"It just felt like a big hit, until I got into the locker-room and my head started to hurt, and felt nausious and I knew something wasn't right," Sloan said.
Tyler's dad Gary is the head football coach at the local high school. He's also president of the Minnesota Football Coaches Association. His goal in that position is to make the game safer.
Gary's teamed up with experts at Mayo Clinic to make sure players' helmets are in good condition and fit correctly.
No helmet can eliminate the possibility of a concussion happening, but the idea of a properly fitted helmet is to reduce the severity of a concussion if it should happen.
Mayo Clinic athletic trainer Jim Williams demonstrates how to make sure a helmet fits the way it should.
"Check the helmet for any kind of cracks Mayo Clinic athletic trainer any kind of loose straps or clips," Jim Williams, A.T.R., A.T.C said.
Then measure the players head one inch above the eyebrow. Next, spray the player down to simulate sweat during a game. When the helmet's on, it should be one inch above the eyebrow. If it's too low, pump air into the air bladders inside the helmet.
Make sure chin straps go underneath the facemask. You want to make sure ear holes line up with the ears and make sure the back of the head is covered.
And the pads inside the helmet should be in good shape. Replace them if they're not.
"We want a good fit, but not one that's too tight that can cause a headache after 30 or 40 minutes on the field. You can see the skin's basically moving with the helmet, which is what we want," Jim Williams, A.T.R., A.T.C.
Two or three days after the fitting, check it again. Every week thereafter, give it a once over. Voice of Vivien Williams Again, helmets will not stop concussions from happening.