Living Healthy: Concussion prevention in football

One football team is using new technology to help protect players, special sensors in the helmet track significant blows to the head.

Quarterback Samuel McCloud is gearing up for his senior year of high school football.

“My freshman year I did experience a concussion in practice,” he said.

That gear includes a new high tech helmet that tracks blows to the head.

“When there’s a significant impact to the helmet, it will vibrate. The trainer at that point will be able to get the kid out and evaluate him,” head football coach Jason Hicks said.

Helmet making company Riddell took on their version of the technology, called Insite.

Sensors inside the helmet are linked to a handheld monitor.

That monitor records significant impacts to the head, showing which player was involved, where on the head, and the speed of collision.

“One of the kids who was wearing it got hit in the head. The sensor went off on the sidelines that our trainer was holding. Our trainer was then able to pull the kid from the scrimmage, quickly evaluate him and get him back out,” Hicks said.

An athletic trainer keeps track of collisions from the sidelines.

“I’m excited about it because it’ll tell all the coaches whenever I have an impact to the head that could potentially hurt me and I don’t know about. So I feel a little bit more protected,” Samuel said.

McCloud will be wearing one of the six sensored helmets for the season, and helping keep his parents at ease.

“I really think it’s a good thing for high school sports to really give the data to back up what doctors are telling head coaches,” Wayne McCloud, Samuel’s dad, said.

Riddell developed Insite based on its head impact telemetry system, a technology that analyzed nearly 2 million impacts since 2003.