A sports equipment maker is trying to reduce head injuries with a new type of helmet.
Bauer Hockey unveiled its Re-akt helmet in Ottawa on Friday, calling it the first designed specifically to manage multiple hits, including rotational-force impacts from turning the head, which can cause significant head injuries such as concussion.
"There are several scientific studies that have shown a significant correlation between rotational force impacts and head injuries, and it is important to look at solutions to help protect players from these impacts," Dr. Mark Lovell, the retired founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's sports medicine concussion program, said in a company news release.
The helmet features a special liner that is meant to protect the head from excessive rotational acceleration when the helmet is hit. The liner is made with a light, pliable material that dissipates extreme forces on impact, Bauer said.
Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers was one of the first players to wear the new helmet leading up to this weekend's all-star game in Ottawa.
"No helmet is going to completely prevent concussions, but helmets like this one are providing an added level of protection, which is important in today's game," said Giroux, who missed four games due to a concussion earlier this season.
"It comes down to player accountability," Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning told reporters. "We can wear all the new equipment that you want but you have to be aware of situations on the ice."
When the Public Health Agency of Canada launched its "Active and Safe" educational program to reduce concussions and other brain injuries among children and youth last week, safety experts stressed that helmets can't protect against all injuries.
At the time, Rebecca Nesdale-Tucker, the executive director and CEO of ThinkFirst Canada, also called for safer facilities, new rules, procedures and policies for high-contact sports.