Study suggests using different guidelines for kids' head injuries

This week's best links from, a website devoted to health and safety issues in youth sports:

  • Preliminary data from a pilot study of retired professional English soccer players has found that, once their playing careers end, the chronic low-level head trauma they sustained from repetitive heading does not put them at greater risk of long-term cognitive decline than the general population. But the study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, is already being criticized as methodologically flawed, and is likely to only add fuel to the fire of a 30-year debate about the long-term effect of heading in soccer.
  • Despite increased helmet use, a recent study in the journal Injury Prevention reports that the number of snow-sports-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) keeps rising. It's prompting calls by experts to implement a variety of targeted prevention strategies, with a special focus on educating parents about the protective value of helmets and the role modeling effect the parent's use has on their child's decision to wear a helmet, which a study in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine found dramatically increases the odds of helmet use.

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