Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Protect That Head. Get a Brain Pad

This post probably won't grab your attention unless you have an athlete at home. But if you do, listen up. I just ran across something that makes me feel a whole lot better about my son's high school football career...the Brain Pad. At first I though it was a helmet insert, but no, it's a mouth guard with a space built into the back of it to pad the mandibular area of the jaw with air space in the event of impact.

photo credit BrainPad.com

Why the big deal? Our son during a routine spring football practice took a shot to the jaw last week. The hit was enough to give him a headache that worsened through practice and was still there the next morning. I contacted the team's athletic trainer who administered the ImPACT test and confirmed he had a slight concussion. Wow. That's not good. But at least it was caught. And by the way, if your athlete's school does not have access to ImPACT testing, I highly recommend you do some investigative work yourself and present your findings in support of the testing to your school. It's that important. But onward...

This mouth guard is specifically intended to absorb 40% of the shock in a hit resulting in less jarring to the brain. Now you are probably wondering why I allow my son to put on some gear and do battle on a hard surface against other teen boys who at times can be larger than him. Well, unless you have a husband or son that plays football, it will do me no good to try and convince you that I'm not crazy. We'll save the topic of actually playing football for later. But my son is going to go out and do battle, he is going to have the best gear possible. He has his own helmet...top of the line and air cushioned...but it sounds like this revolutionary mouth guard is the missing piece. I'm just amazed that I had never heard of it before.

photo credit BrainPad.com

I read the testimonials which included bull riders being trampled and thrown...but no concussion. Teams who have outfitted all of their players and had a significant reduction in concussions. Extreme sports from snowboarding to martial arts to BMWX riders. All the same. It works. If it is all so true, then coaches should make every effort to have this type of protection in every kid's mouth all the time.

So Big Guy is cleared to participate in his team football camp this week, and after some running around to locate him one at the last minute...thank you Sports Authority, he will be testing it out. To be sure, I will be anxious to hear if it also reduces the headaches he normally experiences after practice as the manufacturer of the mouth guard indicates it will. His experience will certainly be relayed to the parents, players, and coaches with our recommendations.

So now it's your turn. Do you have an athlete at home that plays contact sports? Do you go out of your way to make sure you have researched the latest in safety equipment for him or her? I'd love to hear what finds you may have uncovered.

2 comments - click here to leave your comments:

meeks said...

It's fabulous that you are able to do something for him to ensure his safety. So often things are out of control when our kids start sport. So we do some simple little things (for me, it was good shoes for netball). All the best.

The rain has just started over here, and my 10 year old is doing road patrol...I hope she puts on the rain jacket!

Six In The Northwest said...

Yes, I'm anxious to hear how the first day of his football camp with the new mouth guard went. Time to send him a text I guess.

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