Legislation seeks to improve football helmet safety standards

March 23, 2011

Washington – A bill aimed at improving football helmet standards to reduce the concussion rate among young players was introduced in Congress on March 16.

Sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), the Children’s Sports Athletic Equipment Safety Act (H.R. 1127) would require companies that produce football helmets for youth players to improve helmet safety standards within nine months. If they fail to do so, new standards would be set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Additionally, stricter penalties would be enforced on companies that make false safety claims.

“This bill is the logical next step in Congress’ effort to protect our young athletes from brain injuries,” said Pascrell, co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1.6-3.8 million people suffer sports-related concussions in the United States every year. Among high school athletes, 60 percent of concussions occur on the football field.