Princeton School Athletes to Wear Soft Helmets [AUDIO]
When the new school year starts in September, the Princeton school district will require all boys and girls soccer and field hockey players, as well as girls lacrosse players, to wear protective soft helmets. The idea is to help prevent concussions, but some experts think the plan could backfire.
"We don't know a lot about these particular helmets and whether they can prevent a concussion or whether they can't prevent a concussion, there's a lot of controversy about different kinds of equipment that is available, and there have been lots of claims out there - the research is ongoing," said Joanna Boyd, the public education coordinator for the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey.
Boyd said until the research is more definitive, it comes down to the basic stuff that we know. "We have to practice good sportsmanship, we have to use proper technique, we have to use the right equipment for the right sport, we have to follow the rules and we check the playing field to make sure there aren't divots where there shouldn't be, to keep the kids as safe as possible."
Boyd also stressed that concussions for the most part heals on its own with the proper management, so it is important for coaches and doctors to keep a sharp eye on all their athletes.
She also pointed out some sports experts believe the soft helmets may actually encourage kids to play more aggressively, which could increase the concussion risk for all players.
The Princeton school district is the first in New Jersey to start using the helmets.