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In early May, we aired a story about a bunch of girls in a town outside of Philadelphia who had a shocking story to tell. They were all 14 or 15 years old and seasoned soccer players. All six had suffered multiple concussions. Three of the girls were so badly injured that not only would they never play soccer again, but they were struggling to attend school. Allison Kasacavage's family eats dinner by candlelight because bright lights aggravate her headaches.
It turns out, girls' soccer is near the top of the list when it comes to the number of reported concussions, second only to boys' football.
After that story aired on Rock Center, my inbox was flooded. Parents from all over the country wrote in with heartbreaking stories. But even more parents wrote to say -- "What do we DO?"
As I said to Brian Williams on television, I am a soccer mom. I have two young kids who play soccer. I spent last Sunday at a game in the rain, watching a U9 travel team. We are dedicated to the sport. But I too wanted to know more about what to do to prevent concussions.
Some of the people who wrote to us after our last report wanted to know if wearing protective headbands would make a difference. Have you seen these? There are several brands, but the most popular is called the Full 90 headgear. It's a padded band that wraps around a player's forehead and temple area.
I myself had seen some headbands out on the field, though admittedly not too many. But my interest was piqued when I heard that half a million of the Full 90 headbands have been sold over the past decade or so.
My producers and I set out to see if headbands are the answer. And if not, what is?
I flew all over the country to interview doctors, players and the maker of the Full 90. The result is the story airing this Thursday night, June 7 at 10pm ET/9pm CT.
I hope you find our report enlightening. And I hope you’ll spread the word to other parents, coaches, teachers, soccer players, leagues, etc. That's how we got a lot of feedback after our last story. We hope to hear from people again.