Friday, November 9, 2012
'Gamebreaker' helmet aims to prevent concussions, head injuries on playing field
The Gamebreaker is a new type of protective headgear designed to reduce the threat of concussions and other head injuries for participants in what are considered "non-contact" sports.
Manufactured and distributed by Newbury Park-based Gamebreaker Helmets, the protective cap is fast becoming required equipment in flag football and at high school seven-on-seven passing tournaments across the country.
The helmet is also much more forgiving than the hard shell design used in tackle football.
"They are really well made and they attenuate force. And they can't be used as a weapon,"
The helmet is essentially a protective cap that can also be used in sports like soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and water polo.
Gamebreaker was founded by Mike Juels, owner of Corporate Images, a promotional products company, and former NFL player Joey LaRocque, an Agoura Hills High School product.
Juels said they began marketing the helmets last summer after the research and development phase.
Concussions have become an increasing concern over the past several years for athletes competing in a variety of sports at the professional and amateur levels.
For example, the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center is part of a university consortium that has received a $400,000 grant from the National Collegiate Athletic Association to examine the effects of head injuries on student-athletes over the course of their college careers and beyond.
"There is growing concern about the cumulative effect of concussions on long-term cognitive health, and yet our current understanding of what factors contribute to later problems is inadequate," said Dr. Christopher Giza, the study's principal investigator at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA, said in a statement.
"One major goal of this research is to identify these factors so that the risks for chronic problems can be minimized."
By Gregory J. Wilcox, Staff Writer
'Gamebreaker' helmet aims to prevent concussions, head injuries on playing field - Daily Democrat Online