Loudoun County won’t allow our kids to measure the impact of crashing into each other on the football field – even if that information might guard against brain injuries.
Our County school system should have its collective head examined.
The NFL earlier this year said that nearly three in ten retired players will develop debilitating brain conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
The NFL has reportedly put the same sensors in its players’ helmets as the military is using to evaluate those jarring head movements that could lead to traumatic brain injury (“TBI”).
The American Football League announced earlier this year that they were requiring helmet mounted sensors made by Brain Sentry out of Maryland.
The sensor gives an alert when a player suffers an unusually rapid acceleration of the head, making that player a candidate for a concussion or for successive concussions that must be accurately and timely evaluated to assure the player’s safety. The sensor also counts the number of hits to a player’s head.
AFL Commissioner, Jerry B. Kurz, said, “[U]ntil we saw the Brain Sentry impact counter and tested it, we did not feel there was a solution that was practical and deployable for the AFL.”
The sensor is a light weight micro-electromechanical, tri-axial acceleromoter capable of measuring acceleration from any direction, attached to the helmet, and it interferes not at all in the field of play.
We are almost at the end of an era of “dumb helmets” – because we need more real-time objective information to guard against players of any age suffering a possible brain injury.
One report claims that the concussion rate for High School athletes in the United States has doubled since 2005, meaning either the injuries have increased or reporting has improved dramatically.
Loudoun parents went out and bought these Brain Sentry sensors – the same ones the AFL is using – to put on their sons’ helmets to assure some greater measure of safety when playing for Loudoun Valley. The coaches had the players remove the helmets. The players could have non-contact drills without the helmets. But they could not have any contact drills with the sensors on the helmets. Troubling “logic!” Continue reading