Head safety training program reduces concussions among football players

Teaching student football players how to block and tackle safely reduces head injury risk by a third, a new study says.


Fourteen of the 24 high school football programs in the study had training from the Heads Up program, which covers hitting with shoulders instead of heads, correct helmet fitting, and general concussion awareness. Not only did those who utilized the program have one-third fewer concussions, but those who did sustain concussions also recovered and were able to return to play an average of 27 percent faster (11 days versus 15 days).


This is a relatively small study in a limited geographical area, so more research is needed to establish just how effecting Heads Up truly is. But from the numbers, it’s safe to say that systematic, intentional head safety education is key in reducing concussions and aiding recovery.


Whether it’s Heads Up or another similar program, football teams across the board should look at implementing a training system for their coaches and players to teach them how to play it safer.


*Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.