New Gear Could Help Detect Concussions
The Impact Indicator is a chin strap developed right here in Omaha. The company claims it can alert players, parents and coaches to a potential injury. Video by kmtv.comvideo
In the huddle, the play is called, the ball is coming to you. You hear the whistle, it happens so fast.
"I dove at him, and he pushed me away like I was a fly."
And Ben Furstenberg, running back for the Elkhorn Rams, went down hard in the game agaisnt Nebraska City.
"My biggest fear is the knowledge of concussions can happen. Football is an impact sport kids are gonna get hurt at some point. "I heard about a chin strap, that might do something."
Cale heard about the Impact Indicator, a chin strap developed right here in Omaha. The company claims it can alert players, parents and coaches to a potential injury.
"Symptoms often times aren't shown immediately so this is a device that helps get players off the field before more serious injury may occur."
An LED light on the strap blinks green when the player wears the chin strap.
"And if a player takes an impact where again that independent research is showing head injuries are more likely this LED light will start flashing red."
When Ben got hit, he had the Impact Indicator strapped on.
"My teammate told me that my chin strap was red so I waved my dad over from the stands and he came walking over and so I showed him it, and he told me I couldn't play for the rest of the game."
After the game Ben went to the doctor, he did not have a concussion. His dad is glad he got checked.
"The only thing you can do is try to protect your kids as best you can."
Dustin Fink writes "The Concussion Blog". He's a high school atheltic trainer, with 13 years experience on the field.
After he criticized other safety products marketed by Battle Sports Science, the company asked him to evaluate the Impact Indicator.
"Would you recommend parents or teams to look at this or consider using it? I would recommend parents and teams to educate themselves. Would it be great to take the guessing game out of coaches that don't have athletic trainers to know when to pull a kid? Absolutely. Is this the device to do it, absolutely not."
He's not saying don't buy it, just don't rely on it as the only test for concussion.
Battle Sports Science created the Impact Indicator after tragedies like this...
"You think you know about head injuries, but you don't. Our son Sean took his own life after 3 undiagnosed concussions....."
"Our CEO Chris actually has suffered multiple concussions and and is still dealing with life long affects from that and you know a number of years ago 3 years ago Chris decided that he was actually gonna do something about it."
NFL players are noticing. Pierre Thomas of the New Orleans Saints and Benjarvus Green Ellis of the Cincinnati Bengals both wear the chin strap.
And thousands of high schools and youth football teams across the country use it, as a tool, to make parents and coaches more aware of the risk.
Because a concussion isn't just a bonk on the head, it can be a brain injury with life altering consequences.