Should High School Lacrosse Players Wear Headgear? The Debate Continues

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While playing high school sports has been proven to improve mental health, it can also have some damaging effects on the brain... if students don't wear proper headgear, that is. New research from Brown University takes a look at the effect playing lacrosse can have on female players' brains, in terms of injury. This info comes at a critical time, since there has been debate about whether female players should have to wear headgear.

For the study, researchers had seven female lacrosse players, ages 12-14, deliver at least 3 dozen whacks to various places on dummy heads. They wanted to see how aggressive players get and whether there was a difference when varying sticks were used. They also analyzed the effects when the dummy wore various kinds of headgear.

While wearing headgear seemed to lessen the blows' damage, lead researcher Joseph Crisco was cautious to suggest these athletes all wear headgear. In fact, he worries it may make the game more aggressive and cause more damage. Research suggests that helmets may not prevent concussions, only skull fractures or traumatic brain injury, Science Daily reports.

Although this research hopefully helps push the debate forward, it's still important for teens to protect themselves from head injuries. For more on this topic, check out these past Choices and TeenBeing stories:

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