British Columbia

Helmet sticker may reduce concussions

A Vancouver company has begun selling helmet decals that it claims can drastically reduce concussions.

“It reduces the sharp twisting and compression of the brain,” says product developer

BrainShield is a thicker than the average decal applied to both sides of a helmet to help reduce the risk of concussion. (Shield-X Technology)

A Vancouver company has begun selling helmet decals it says can drastically reduce concussions.

Shield-X Technology spent the last six years developing the sticker-like decal that sticks on both sides of a football helmet.

"It can significantly reduce the sharp twisting and compression of the brain," said Daniel Abram, the company's chief technology and operating officer.

The patent pending product has micro-engineered layers that slide underneath each other on impact. The impact-diverting decals reduce frictional force and reduce head rotation when the hit comes at an angle. 

"They don't allow the force to be applied to the helmet and then after that to the head," said Abram.

The company tested out an earlier version of BrainShield in 2014 with Simon Fraser University's football team.

An earlier version of BrainShield was tested out by the SFU football team. (Shield-X Technology)

"According to the coach, the concussions went from 14 in 2013 to only four cases in 2014," said Abram. 

He did note that the decrease is also partly due to new tackling techniques taught by the team's coach. 

Part of the solution

Having good gear is only part of the equation when it comes to reducing concussions, says Abram. He notes that multiple factors come into play, such as age, sex, direction and severity of impact and whether the individual has experienced previous head trauma.

A couple of secondary schools in B.C. are already using them.

The decals can be put on any helmet and need to be replaced after a year. They are priced at $50 for a pair.


To hear the full interview listen to the audio labelled Helmet decal reduces head injuries with the CBC's Rick Cluff on The Early Edition.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said the B.C. Lions were testing the BrainShield decal, but they are not.
    Oct 21, 2015 1:57 PM PT

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