Suggesstion that teen lacrosse players wear helmets stirs controversy

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DENVER — Lacrosse is an exciting sport that is growing in popularity among students across the nation.

Now some are raising the question of whether girls, who play a version of the sport with less contact, should be required to wear helmets.

A new study by the Colorado School of Public Health at the Anschutz Medical Campus shows girls have higher rates of concussion in many sports, except lacrosse.

Many medical experts say it’s still important to protect from them from sustaining injuries on the field.

“Boys wear a hard shell helmet, big padded gloves and other protective equipment,” said Dr. Dawn Comstock of the Colorado School of Public Health.  “Girls really only wear protective goggles and mouth guards.”

Despite the lack of equipment, the push to protect girls on the field is receiving some resistance from players who say they just don’t get hurt that often on the field.

Others say added protective gear would inspire girls to play a more aggressive game, something that could be more dangerous for them than for boys.

Amy Lane, head of the Colorado Lacrosse Chapter, has two daughters that play.

She said that “if you have padding then you think you’re safe then you are more aggressive.”

Those on both sides of the issue agree that keeping girls safe on the field goes well beyond protective equipment.

Richard Morgan, U.S. Lacrosse Chairman-Elect, said the way the game is played must be considered and important questions must be asked.

“Are the coaches being trained to teach the game? Are officials being trained to officiate the game so it’s a safe way for the girls to play?” Morgan asked.

The Colorado Lacrosse Foundation tells us there are soft helmets girls can wear.  They are similar to soccer headgear.

Experts say in the end, it is the parent`s responsibility to make sure their child has proper equipment to prevent injury, regardless of any debate over whether it`s needed or not.

Filed in: Health

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