A very disturbing study from the Netherlands shows that soccer players have lower scores in tests measuring intelligence than middle-distance runners and swimmers. The authors feel that head injuries may be the cause.
27 percent of soccer players have had a documented concussion with passing out and 22 percent had had between 2 and 5 concussions. The amount of drop in mental skills was associated with the number of concussions.
When you hit the ball with your head, you can expect brain damage. Your brain bounces around in its sack of fluid, hitting one side of your skull and then the other, causing bruising and bleeding. Woodpeckers don't suffer concussions when they bang their heads because their brains don't bounce around. Wearing a helmet protects your brain only if it prevents your head from moving inside the helmet when it is hit. Helmets are supposed to fit your head the same way that a woodpecker's skull hold its brain solidly in place. Soccer players should wear helmets that fit snugly, with a liner that fits tightly around your head and a chin strap. If you can move the helmet when you hold your head still, it doesn't fit.
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