By Bradley Stringfield, special for NFL Evolution
Player safety is a concern for football moms across the United States.
Christine Golic, a member of the Heads Up Football Advisory Committee and national spokesperson for USA Football's Protection Tour, has been working to educate moms about health and safety while easing some of those worries.
"The thing that I want to get involved with is reaching out to other mothers and empowering them with information about our program," Golic said on "NFL AM." "I want them to know the things that are being done to make the game better and safer, especially on the youth level. … We as moms all live and die with our kids, and we want to do what's best for them. So safety is obviously a big part of what we think of as a mom."
The Protection Tour is an annual health and safety program that educates youth football players and parents on the importance of proper equipment fitting, tackling fundamentals and CDC-approved concussion recognition and response. At each tour stop, USA Football, Riddell and AIG Insurance, with the support of the university or NFL team in that market, conducts a free, one-day event to deliver expert-driven health and safety information.
Golic is no stranger to football. Her husband, Mike, is a former NFL player and the current co-host of ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike." Their sons, Mike Jr. and Jake, both played at Notre Dame.
"I tend to say to moms, 'This is the best time for your kids to play football,' " Golic said. "I've seen when Mike played in the pros and when my kids played in Pop Warner all the way up through high school. I've seen the change in attitude toward hydration. I've seen the change as far as your bell being rung. We don't just ignore that anymore. It's a big thing you have to take notice of now."
One thing Golic doesn't want is fear driving a parent's decision to not let a child play.
"I don't want moms to become fearful of their kids being on the field because of what they hear," she said. "There's way too much upside to playing sports to let the fears that might creep into your brain prevent you from letting your kids play sports."
Each participant will be properly fitted for a helmet by a Riddell representative. If you have your helmet, bring it. If not, Riddell experts will fit one for you and provide you with the proper measurements to share with your youth football league.
The USA Football Protection Tour will resume next spring. For more information on USA Football's Protection Tour, visit www.usafootball.com/protection-tour or email email@example.com.
This article originally appeared last month on USA Football.com
Cover and carousel photos by Jason Johnson/USA Football.