New helmets provide pricey peace of mind for parents of youth football playe
New helmets provide pricey peace of mind for parents of youth football players
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2012 LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY OCTOBER 7, 2012, 8:54 AM
BY COLLEEN DISKIN
The football helmet cost more than $300, but its padded inner shell was a brand-new design that offered more protection against a concussion — or so its makers claimed. As Karl Kreshpane considered buying it, he walked into one of the biggest controversies in the game today — whether a helmet, no matter how well designed, can protect against debilitating concussions.
Bergen County Knights player Patrick Mayne, 11, of Teaneck adjusting his helmet Wednesday in Fair Lawn.
Kreshpane was sold. His son was the starting quarterback and a safety on Mahwah High School’s varsity team, positions that put him in the middle of a lot of hard tackles.
But when the back of Karl Jr.’s head smacked against the turf during a game three years ago, it was a type of blow that even this top-of-the-line helmet wasn’t able to cushion. It took about 10 months for the teen to fully recover from the speech and concentration troubles he experienced from the severe concussion that ended his football-playing days.
Kreshpane’s younger son is playing now, but he wears the helmet his town’s football league issued. That’s because Kreshpane, a former college player and longtime youth coach, no longer thinks buying the most expensive helmet buys a parent peace of mind.
“You want a good helmet,” he said. “But no helmet is concussion-proof. That’s what we learned.”
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