Blumenthal Joins Udall in Fight to Raise Safety Standards for Youth Football Helmets

(Washington, DC) – Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today announced his co-sponsorship of the Children’s Sports Athletic Equipment Act, legislation introduced by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM). The bill aims to address concerns with safety standards of children’s athletic equipment by requiring the football helmet industry and other athletic equipment manufacturers to use testing to address potential shortfalls in safety that can lead to concussions and other head injuries.

“The fact that there have been no real changes in safety standards in over 30 years for children’s athletic equipment, especially in a sport like football where athletes are prone to head injuries, is shocking, and must be remedied,” said Blumenthal. “There is no greater fear for any parent than a child being seriously injured participating in athletics. And while we cannot prevent all injuries, this bill will ensure that as our children compete, they are using equipment that is proven to keep them safe.”

The Children’s Sports Athletic Equipment Act will work to make sure that new and reconditioned football helmets for high school and younger players meet safety standards that will reduce the likelihood of concussions. Currently, despite new helmet technology and science that has brought greater understanding of concussions, safety standards for football helmets are only geared towards the prevention of skull fracturing instead of brain injuries like concussions. Football has the highest incidence of sports concussions, and about 4.5 million children play football. In any given football season, 20 percent of high school players suffer brain injuries.