The use of protective headgear in girls’ lacrosse may actually result in an elevated risk for injury, note researchers in a study presented at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) annual meeting.

The increased risk may result from increased aggressiveness of play with the use of the protective gear, according to a media release from the AMSSM.

The study, led by Daniel Herman, MD, PhD, compared the rates of concussion and musculoskeletal injuries among girls’ lacrosse players 3 years before and 3 years after the implementation of protective headgear, made mandatory in 2015 by the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA).

The researchers also looked at similar data during the same time frame for boys’ lacrosse to help assess for changes in injury recording or reporting over the same time period.

For girls’ lacrosse, the years after the new helmet rule went into effect had significantly greater frequency of both concussions and musculoskeletal injuries compared to the years before players wore helmets. But there were no significant differences in concussions or other injuries in boys’ lacrosse during the same time period, explains the AMSSM release.

”The findings underscore the importance of continuing to study the effects of FHSAA’s policy, which as of this season mandates the use of a hard-shell helmet. Everyone is for better player safety, but ‘more’ may not equate to ‘better’,” Herman says.

[Source(s): American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, Newswise]