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Published August 15, 2012, 05:57 PM

Evolving technology helps keep high school athletes safe

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - With so much attention focused on "reducing the frequency" of concussions, high school football coaches are going the extra mile to insure the helmets they put on the heads of young people, meet all safety standards and are inspected yearly.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - With so much attention focused on "reducing the frequency" of concussions, high school football coaches are going the extra mile to insure the helmets they put on the heads of young people, meet all safety standards and are inspected yearly.

In the old days, young football players had a little bit of padding inside the helmet.

Today there is gel, even air-bag like technology keeping students safe.

Hawley Nugget Alex Ames knows what it’s like to take a hit. He felt it all last football season.

Alex Ames, Hawley Football Player: “Severely concussed one game and that put me out for a few weeks and there were lasting effects after that too that I noticed.”

Today, he is wearing a Xenith helmet.

Ames: “Instead of pumping air into it, it has probes and what happens you just pull on the chin strap and the probes suctions to your head which takes all the , I got hit last year and I did not have a headache.”

At practice in Hawley today, players wore a handful of helmets.

Jeff Christianson, Hawley Football Player: “It has the nice air you can put in it and the bladders around the head, fits me perfect, feels right.”

All with different protective tools in and around the helmet, to keep the heads on kids safe.

So because of this increased awareness over concussions, Hawley is sending in helmets for inspection. Some are kicked out right away. Others are refurbished and upgraded. New hardware, new padding inside.

Peter Naatz, Hawley Football Coach: “We don't have that many getting 10 years old. It is a matter of safety and with new technology coming out. It is well worth it."

The Hawley players like the newer helmets, equipped with the protection to keep the number of concussions down, and players making spectacular moves on the field.

Experts will tell you that helmets can't prevent concussions but high quality helmets can reduce the risk.

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