Senator Schumer urges new safety for youth football helmets
By Eileen Buckley
Cheektowaga, NY – U.S. Senator Charles Schumer appeared in Cheektowaga Tuesday to promote proposed legislation that would increase safety on high school football fields.
Schumer said the bill would improve standards for football helmets to protect players.
Senator Schumer stood with the Maryvale High School Football team in Cheektowaga and some former members of the Buffalo Bills as he announced his support for the Children's Sports Athletic Equipment Safety Act.
Schumer said football will always remain an aggressive game, but "common sense" steps can be taken to improve safety. Schumer said the act would ensure that football helmets meet new safety standards to protect younger players from concussions.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported more than $920,000 athletes under the age of 18 were treated for football-related injuries in 2007.
Former Buffalo Bill Ed Rutkowski joined Schumer in his plea to improve the helmets. Rutkowski played for the Bills from 1963 to 1968. It was a time when long-term risks of concussions unknown.
Research now shows that an improved helmet can reduce the amount of concussions.
Senator Schumer said if the legislation is approved it would be the biggest leap taken in improving helmet safety.