Soccer players who wear protective headgear suffer nearly half as many concussions as those who play without helmets, according to a study conducted by researchers at Canada’s McGill University.
Researchers followed 250 adolescent (ages 12 to 17) soccer players during the 2006 season. They found that 53 percent of those who did not wear protective headgear suffered concussions compared to 27 percent of those who wore safety gear.
The study, published in the July 2007 issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, also found that:
- Nearly half of the players (47.8%) experienced symptoms of a concussion during the 2006 season.
- Approximately 4 out of 5 athletes did not realize that they had suffered a concussion
- Multiple concussions were less frequent among the injured athletes (50.0%) who wore protective headgear than those who did not (69.3%).
- Nearly one-quarter (23.9%) of players suffering concussions experienced symptoms for at least one day or longer.
- Female soccer players were at increased risk of suffering concussions.
- Female soccer players not wearing protective headgear were also at increased risk of suffering other kinds of head injuries, such as abrasions, lacerations or contusions on areas of the head that otherwise would have been covered by the headgear.