Helmet innovation technologies that help prevent injuries in ice hockey
Ultimately, regardless of the technology that you opt to go with, you will need to get a helmet that fits you correctly.
Your brain is far too important to take risks. If you sustain a head injury, it can not only change your life, but it might end up killing you. Since hockey can be a contact sport and there is a lot of physical effort involved, you need to make sure that you are wearing the safest hockey helmet to prevent concussion.
Just as technology has progressed across many industries in the last decade, helmet innovations have also made massive strides. These are the latest technologies on the market to help prevent head injuries.
The first innovation that we will look at is the R.E.D. System. This means the “Rotational Energy Dampening system.” What it means is that there is a liner within the helmet that has a liquid-filled bladder. The bladders will help and reduce the amount of rotation that is possible from an impact to the shell of the helmet.
This has been shown as the most-effective way to prevent concussions. Before the development of the R.E.D. System, there was not a real way to prevent concussions. Since concussions are a twisting of the brain itself, the helmets before would only prevent an injury to the skull but could do nothing for the brain’s movement within the skull.
Another type of technology is the impact pods. These pods are found within CCM helmets. They are used to absorb any shock that a helmet might experience, dampening the overall impact of the helmet. They are molded with an expanded polypropylene. This helps to take in the energy received to prevent a jolt to the head.
Impact pods are not found as much as the newer technologies, but they still have their place in helmet technology.
Another helmet technology from CCM is the D3O Smart foam. The D3O is made to be shock-absorbing, preventing your head from taking on any sudden jolts. The material is found within the liner. The material itself is soft and comfortable, but when put under pressure, the foam will take in the shock before readjusting itself to its original position.
Smartfoam is nice because it does retain its shape, so you do not need to worry about warping. It also has a water-wicking element to it, so you will not find yourself with an overly hot, sweaty head with water running in your eyes.
One of the most recent types of helmet technology is wearable sensors. These sensors will be able to read impacts that happen where the sensors are placed. The data will not help a player in real-time, but it will allow the team to go back after a practice and see where the injuries might have taken place and to confirm the severity of the injury. If a player was hit hard enough, the coach would know that the player needed to be checked over by medical professionals, relying more on the data rather than what a player might be able to feel or report on.
The use of sensors is increasing all of the time. Even though they first appeared about 15 years ago, their sensitivity and efficiency have only improved over the years. They are not necessary for everyone, but they do have their purpose.
The final piece of helmet technology that we will look at is the microdial. You might be wondering why it is included if it is simply a helmet adjustment feature, but the fact is that it will give you a perfectly precise fit with a simple turn of the dial. This kind of precision means that your helmet will be able to do its job if you experience a blow to the head and, as a result, you will be much less likely to sustain a head injury if your helmet is about to remain in place.
Ultimately, regardless of the technology that you opt to go with, you will need to get a helmet that fits you correctly. If your helmet does not fit well, you will be far more likely to receive a traumatic brain injury than you would have been with a better-fitting helmet.
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