Football is a violent sport. It took the intervention of President Teddy Roosevelt to keep it from being banned in the early 20th century, and the medical evidence about the damage it does to athletes’s brains continues to pile up. Concussions aren’t limited to football, of course: hockey leagues are being careful about them, and it’s been a problem even the limited-contact sport of baseball.
Not all head contact is equal and its always been difficult to assess how bad a brain injury may be. That’s what so interesting about the Reebok Checklight.
As we wrote about it, the Checklight (with technology from MC10) is a close-fitting skullcap that can fit under a football (or other) helmet, with a small tab protruding over the nape of the athlete’s neck. Moderate impact lights a yellow LED. More severe impact lights a red LED.
The Checklight doesn’t eliminate risk of head injury. But it allows athletes, coaches, doctors, and parents to monitor it and make (hopefully) intelligent choices. The device won an Innovations award this year from the Consumer Electronics Association, and is easily one of the best ideas of 2013.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np1rvGv9Qtg]