High School Football Player Dies Following Field Collision

high_school_football_deathA 16-year-old high school football player has died following a helmet-to-helmet football injury last week.

The boy, Damon Janes, was a junior at Westfield/Brocton High School in New York. Damon was playing in a varsity football game on Friday; he died Monday afternoon at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, according to MaxPreps.com. Damon, a running back and defensive back lost consciousness after the accident in the game’s third quarter.

Since 2003, a total of 25 deaths have occurred involving American high school football players, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research at the University of North Carolina, MaxPrep.com reported. Some 1.1 million teenagers played high school football in the U.S. in 2012, also according to the report, which indicated that 4.2 million played football that year from the youth to the NFL level.

As professional football season starts, and school and youth leagues are also getting underway, New York Attorney General (AG) Eric T. Schneiderman recently issued a warning concerning bogus football helmet safety claims.

Claims that a helmet is “concussion-proof” or is constructed of “anti-concussive” properties could be misleading, the AG said, according to Law360. These claims could mislead parents and could potentially be dangerous to players and their parents, said Schneiderman who warned manufacturers touting product safety. “Ensuring that manufacturers don’t mislead the public and endanger young New Yorkers is a key concern for my office,” Schneiderman said in a just-issued release.

It seems that some manufacturers are marketing so-called “aftermarket add-on” products for football helmets that include liners, bumpers, pads, and electronic devices that promise players reduced concussion risks despite, noted Schneiderman, that no data exists to indicate these claims are legitimate for kid players, according to Law360.

“Football helmets were developed to protect against massive head trauma, but unfortunately, we’re seeing more evidence they have not been designed to prevent less immediately catastrophic injuries like concussions,” said Long Island Republican State Senator Kemp Hannon. “Despite some helmets being labeled ‘anti-concussion,’ this isn’t necessarily the case,” Hannon added, wrote Law360.

Senator Hannon was the sponsor of state legislation that went into effect in 2012 mandating coaches, teachers, and other relevant personnel to undergo training on the symptoms of mild traumatic brain injuries and the criticality of appropriate medical treatment, explained Law360. The AG also said these personnel should understand how to detect concussion symptoms and any players exhibiting those symptoms should be removed from games until symptoms are resolved. Also, Schneiderman says players should undergo training on techniques that reduce head-to-head contact.

“It’s important to remember that no helmet can fully prevent a concussion,” Schneiderman said. “Just as important, we must work to educate young athletes and their parents about how to reduce the risk of concussion and detect early warning signs on the field.”

The AG’s warning followed the announcement of the NFL’s proposed $765 million settlement with over 4,000 former professional football players involved in litigation over the way in which the league handled its players’ brain injuries, Law360 noted.

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