Cape Coral Pop Warner team use new study to find safest helmets


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Cape Coral Pop Warner team use new study to find safest helmets

By Sara Belsole. CREATED Oct 15, 2013 - UPDATED: Oct 15, 2013

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - It only takes one hit.

"Every concussion is serious," Mark Tesoro, an analyst and educator at Lee Memorial's Trauma Center, said.

Tesoro said he is more concerned with younger athletes getting concussions because "a developing brain is more susceptible to concussions than an older person."
Tesoro said there's some myths when it comes to concussions:
-You don't have to get knocked out
-You don't have to get hit in the head
-Concussions happen more often in practice than in games
If you think your player or child has a concussion, look for signs of dizziness, confusion and vision problems.
So how are local Pop Warner teams keeping your kids safe? For the Cape Youth Football Association's Storms teams, it all starts with the helmet.
"The league decided to start spending more money on helmets and less on like football jersey and football pants and other stuff that aren't as important," Mike Cook, Board Member and Equipment Manager for the Storms, said.
The league turned to a Virginia Tech and Wake Forrest University study that uses a five star system to rank helmets. The teams now only use four and five star helmets.
But concussion prevention goes even farther than equipment. It's also about teaching players how to tackle.
"It's about heads up, you have to see what you're hitting and we limit the number of hours you have head-to-head contact in practice," Cook said.
And so far, it's working. The Storms have only had one documented concussion in the past two years.
Under Pop Warner rules, a player with a concussion cannot return to the team until he is cleared by a doctor. Each coaching staff must also have a member that is CPR and first aid certified.