Debate Over Study Claiming Many Hockey Helmets Unsafe, "There Is No Concussion Proof Helmet"

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A recent study has sparked debate over how much protection hockey helmets actually provide.

There's no question helmets are an important piece of gear protecting hockey players. But, a recent study by Virginia Tech University claims more than a quarter of helmets are unsafe.

25 helmets were tested, ones worn by youth hockey players, all the way up to the NHL. No helmets were given a top rating or near the top.

Millions of Americans play hockey, a sport with the highest rate of concussions, according to experts.

"Brains are the one thing we just can't really fix," says Jody Jordet, with Sanford SAFE Kids.

Many popular helmets are making the "do not recommend" list, after being tested by the university. The study claims those wearing the lower ranking helmets are at risk for getting at least 6 concussions a season.

Hockey players here in the valley typically buy their own helmets. Schools don't recommend a certain type, as long as they're safety approved.

"Too many kids are buying helmets on whether kids friends have it, or it's the high end, the new helmet instead of actually getting a helmet that fits properly,” says Former hockey player, Rory Sandvig. He’s the owner of Hockey Zone in Moorhead, where many locals get their gear. Sandvig disagrees with the study saying, "There is no concussion proof helmet, I think that's the big myth that everybody thinks."

Sandvig adds you should take helmet advice from those who've actually taken a hit on the ice. "To be honest with you I have 5 helmets that I would wear, say if I was still playing competitively, and I had to pick between 5 helmets, 3 out of those 5 didn't even get a rating," he says.

But he does agree with one thing, "The study will show you, that budget really doesn't really play a lot into it. Cause some of the ones that got rated are a lot less money, you want to get something that fits correctly, not looks good, but fits correctly on your head."

Experts say millions of athletes suffer brain injuries a year adding that you can't be too careful keeping your kids safe.

"It can affect their behavior and mood as well, they are very, very common," says Jordet.