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Do you really need a helmet to play soccer? New Jersey school district says all students must wear headgear to prevent concussions

3 min read

By  Michael Zennie

PUBLISHED: 11:19 EST, 9  October 2013 |  UPDATED: 16:30 EST, 9 October 2013

A New Jersey school district is ordering all  students who play soccer – and other non-contact sports – to wear helmets on the  field.

The Princeton School District’s new rule is  causing many parents – and even some doctors – to question whether soccer is  really dangerous enough to warrant mandatory headgear to protect children from  concussion.

However, school administrators are moving  forward with a plan to purchase $70 soft helmets for every athlete grades six  through 12 who plays soccer, field hockey or girls’ lacrosse.

Too much protection? Parents are questioning whether high school soccer is dangerous enough to require the use of helmet. (Pictured, Chelsea goalkeeper Goalkeeper Petr Cech) 

Too much protection? Parents are questioning whether  high school soccer is dangerous enough to require the use of helmet. (Pictured,  Chelsea goalkeeper Goalkeeper Petr Cech)

 

The Times of Trenton reports that concussions and head injuries are not common among Princeton  schools student athletes, but coaches and members of the school board say that  doesn’t alleviate their concern.

‘We’re very aware that for players in all  sports there’s a risk of  head injuries and we’re just trying to do whatever we  can to prevent  them,’ Princeton school board president Timothy Quinn  said.

Judy Goldstein, the field hockey coach at  neighboring Hamilton High School West, says some of her girls have suffered  concussions in the past – but she thinks requiring helmets is  overkill.

‘Accidents are going to happen. I don’t know  if we can protect these kids with every single step,’ she said.

‘I just think it’s too much for the headgear  in field hockey. I have a feeling that the more you load onto the kids, the less  likely they are to play the sport.’

The only problem, several experts say, is  that soft helmets won’t  prevent concussions and they are actually likely to do  more harm than  good.

This is the $70 helmet that Princeton schools will be buying for all students who play soccer, field hockey and girls' lacrosse 

This is the $70 helmet that Princeton schools will be  buying for all students who play soccer, field hockey and girls’  lacrosse

 

Pediatric neurosurgeon Dr Alexander Post,  with the New Jersey Pediatric Neuroscience Institute, told the Times: ‘You can  get a concussion from pretty much doing anything. Any activity carries a certain  degree of potential risk and you have to weigh that risk.

‘In general, the headgear is good for  reducing abrasions and lacerations, but not for protecting against concussions  to any significant degree.’

Other experts say the headgear is likely to  give student athletes a false sense of security – causing them to play more  aggressively and without as much regard for their safety.

Princeton schools currently require headgear  for all sixth graders this year and allow parents of older students to opt their  children out of the project. However, the program will grow – adding a grade a  year, until the headgear is mandatory for all middle and high school  students.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2451292/Do-really-need-helmet-play-soccer-School-district-says-students-wear-headgear.html#ixzz2hHdq3Y1z Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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