Technology in play to help make football safer

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

A new multimedia effort from ESPN combines stories, video and graphics to show how technological innovators are working to make football a safer sport.

high school tackle

Photo by Eagle102.net via Flickr

Patrick Dorsey looks at one of the biggest health issues facing football players today, especially those in high school, writing about the continuing evolution of concussion diagnosis, prevention and treatment. Dorsey takes a look at advances in equipment, like a new $350 helmet that uses airbag-style padding to soften the blows taken by players’ heads, and in medicine. On the medical front, many schools now give students a pre-season test to establish their baseline mental function, then test them again after a suspected concussion and only allow them to play again once their brain is working normally once more.

Matt Winklejohn tackles another threat to football players’ health: the heat. Promising advances have produced sensors that measure the temperature inside each player’s helmet and wire the results to a handheld computer on the sidelines, shoulder pads that can be air-conditioned during breaks in practice and even a thermometer built into a pill athletes can swallow in order to monitor their internal core temperature, Winklejohn writes.

Relevant ESPN videos
Football Tech: Helmets
Football Tech: Shoulder Pads
Football Tech: Performance Gear

Relevant ESPN graphics
ZOOM Gallery: The evolution of football gear
Crosshairs: The world of football technology

Related

Find a primer on reporting on the health of student athletes and links to a number of articles, tip sheets, journal articles and other resources in AHCJ’s new “Reporting on sports injuries in school-age children” tip sheet and “Concussions in young athletes.”


1 thought on “Technology in play to help make football safer

  1. Pingback: Tim Tebow’s head fuels concussion debate : Covering Health

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