Protecting Kids from Sports Concussions with Helmet Sensors

Helmets are designed to alleviate the odds of severe head injuries including skull fracture or hemorrhages that happen during the sports. However, there are a lot of incidents when kids have difficulty in standing up or walking and headaches after a collision when there isn’t any visible injury. These are early symptoms of a traumatic brain injury also known as concussion that is not noticed earlier but it increases the risk of multiple brain disorders that prevail as the time passes. It has become the need of the time to detect concussion on time so that the kids can be treated accordingly to prevent concussion after effects.

Modern helmets or “smart” helmets are equipped with sensors that detect concussion in case of an injury exceeding preset thresholds. These sensors measure the intensity of the collision and send the analysis report to warn parents and coaches in case of high-intensity hit.

Let’s have a look at different types of impact sensors placed inside SMART helmets especially designed to protect kids.

Shock box – Tri axial Accelerometer

Most of the smart helmets are using this sensor to sense acceleration from any direction. It measures the force or speed of the hit experienced by the brain. A high limit threshold is being set inside helmets and if the acceleration is above that pre-defined threshold then the data is being sent to the parents and coaches smart phones. Shockbox is an example of smart sensors used in helmets. Most of the SMART helmets are connected to smartphones in which an application is installed.

Impact Indicator Chin Strap

It measures the force and time duration of the collision and the integrated LED light blinks RED in case of a serious injury.

InSite Impact – Head Impact Telemetry System (HITS)

It measures effects of linear and rotational acceleration, duration and location and compares them with predefined thresholds. It not only measures each and every hit but also counts them and maintains a record of every collision. One of the biggest examples is Riddle product that deploys HITS in their InSite Impact response system.

Brain Sentry

It is a small device mounted on helmet that alerts when an athlete suffers a potentially dangerous collision or gets hit harder. It also measures impact that causes a high surge in acceleration for a very short duration of time.

Safe Brain

It determines whether the athlete has been hit hard enough to cause a concussion. It measures G-force impact and if the impact exceeds thresholds then an LED installed on the helmet alerts couch regarding the injury. The thresholds are being set individually defined for kids according to their strengths, weaknesses and personal data.

Apart from sensors used in helmets and chin straps, impact sensing mouth guards have also hit the market. Biometrics impact sensing mouth guards measure location and intensity of the hit.

Well, after reading this article, you must be acknowledging and appreciating sensory technologies serving for the protection of mankind.

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