FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFTA) — A new measure of safety has been added to football gear at Fayetteville schools.
Kelly Stuckey’s son is a junior wide receiver on the Fayetteville High School Football team. She says her son has never had a concussion, but it’s always a topic of conversation in her home.
“We love football but it’s mixed emotions because it’s a dangerous sport, and as a parent your stomach hurts every game. You’re excited but you’re also worried,” Stuckey said.
A CDC study examining the sport for over a year shows 15% of high schoolers suffered at least one concussion.
FHS Head Coach Billy Dawson says he’s using a protective shell “add-on” to new or existing helmets to protect players.
“I saw them at a convention. I watched the Penn State study, a three year study in which they had really high regards. The reduce of concussions was almost 50% in some categories, 75% in others,” Dawson said.
The shell goes right on top of the normal helmet to provide an extra layer of protection.
“We have 25 of them at our high school, 22 at Woodland, and 22 at Ramay. It’s kinds of an opportunity to see what they do for us and see if they will protect our kids,” Dawson said.
The shell, produced by Defend Your Head, utilizes specialized material to reduce the risk of injury due to blunt force trauma. It adds 15 ounces of weight to the helmets, but from the stands you can’t tell the difference.
“I think you’re going to see it more and more popular as the word gets out, as we’re trying to protect kids from concussions. Kids play better when they are safer,” Dawson said.