How Much Protection Do Football Helmets Offer?

Not much, at least against blows to the side of the head, according to a study that will be presented at an upcoming meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. Scientists testing how 10 popular football helmets fared against 19.3-kilometer-per-hour impacts found that they reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury by an average of 20% compared with not wearing one. Researchers say that although the equipment drastically reduces the risk of bruising and skull fracture, it does little to safeguard against side hits that can lead to concussion.

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