A growing body of research is revealing that head impacts during sports can cause major trauma and damage. Wearing a helmet is critical, but hits to the noggin, even smallish ones, can really add up over the long run. Reebok has just unveiled a new device that can help athletes, coaches and trainers understand how many hits a player is taking during practice and games. The Reebok CheckLight is a small device worn on your head that measures acceleration over time and measures the severity of hit. Indicator lights glow green for okay, yellow for moderate impact, and a red for a big hit, which means it’s time to stop playing and get checked out by a medical professional.
Whether playing football, lacrosse, hockey, biking or skateboarding, these sports can be dangerous and cause injury to your body and your brain. Every time an athlete falls or gets hit, their brain can be affected by the sudden stop in motion, which could cause a concussion and change the way your brain works. Big bumps, jolts or falls can cause serious damage, but small hits over time can add up too. While researchers and doctors are trying to improve their understanding of brain injury, athletes, and coaches must be more aware and work to prevent injury by minimizing impacts.
Reebok’s solution is a device that monitors and alerts athletes to how many hits they’re received and how severe they were. The CheckLight is a small lightweight accelerometer and gyroscope that measures how fast the head moves and the strength of impacts. It can be worn in a lightweight cap with or without a helmet on and tallies hits over time. A green indicator light shows that the device is charged and the athlete has not received any impacts. A yellow light shows that the athlete took a moderate impact and a red means they experienced a severe impact. This red light tells coaches, trainers and the athlete they need to stop what they are doing and get checked out by a medical trainer before proceeding. The CheckLight isn’t meant as a diagnostic or prevention tool and does not treat concussions. The battery powered device can be recharged via a USB port, costs $149.98 and will soon be available in a headband version.