With high school and college athletes beginning practice for their fall seasons, excitement is rising in our small town! However, parents and athletes alike have been more and more concerned recently in the dangers of some activities, especially with concussions. Some parents have even pulled youth from football leagues in hopes of protecting them from injury.
Now there may be an option for parents to help protect their athletes from the unexpected and inevitable contact that may occur. A device called the Guardian Cap has been gaining some interest with many football organizations from youth to college and even NFL players.
What is the Guardian Cap?
The Guardian Cap is a padded device that is attached on the outside of a football helmet to reduce the impact that a head takes during a hit by 33%. It weighs only 7 ounces, is waterproof, attaches and is readily removable for a standard football helmet, and costs only $55. The company is also in the works of designing a Guardian Cap for hockey and lacrosse gear and donates a portion of all profits to brain research. The Guardian Cap has been permitted for high school practice and games by the National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS). However, controversy over the equipment has been in the media, especially in Colorado, where schools were not permitted to use the equipment in games and , in some cases, at practice. Articles can be found at.
For parents and coaches, it is important to understand that the Guardian Cap DOES NOT PREVENT concussions. It is a device to reduce the force of impact and protect an athlete from harsh hits during a game. However, it is important to teach and enforce athletes to use safe techniques. For example, in football, no direct head to head contact, keep your head up during tackling, tackle at the waist, and lead with your shoulders so that your head is not the initial point of contact during a tackle.
Opponents of the Guardian Cap worry that it may be bulky and catch on other athletes’ arms, legs, and equipment, which will then cause strain on the neck and possibly spinal fractures and injuries.
Is this something that you want your kids to wear? Is this $55 helmet attachment worth trying to possibly reduce the impact your child’s head may receive during a hit by 33%? Do your research, and make decisions for your family’s health! I strongly encourage parents, athletes, and coaches, to look into this protective equipment.
Other Safety Concerns For Fall Athletes
Athletes and parents of athletes need to keep in mind the importance of hydration and nutrition during sports. Dehydration can be life threatening! Having the proper nutrition, and eating the right foods will enhance your performance and keep you playing for many years to come. Always remember, your body is a Porsche, don’t fill it with garbage!
Head injuries and concussions are not always obvious to the athlete or to others around them. It is important to know the signs to look for. These include:
- Headaches Memory Loss
- Dizziness Slurred Speech
- Hand-eye coordination changes
- Confusion Appetite Changes
- Nausea Change in Sleep Patterns
- Sensitivity to Light or Sound Poor Concentration
- Lack of/Change in Motivation Blurred Vision
Seek medical attention if you, your friends, or athletes have any of these symptoms. Concussions can be life threatening. Concussions can heal quickly, but they may also take weeks, months, and even years in some cases.
While rest may be one of the best resources you have to heal a brain injury, we at Cannon Pointe Chiropractic are also concerned with the diet and its effects on healing. Eating the wrong foods after a concussion can cause the recovery time to be seriously lengthened. Also, if an impact is great enough to cause a concussion, what are the chances that the structure of the cervical spine and cranium have not been altered, causing impingement on the afferent and efferent nervous functions? Our functional neurologic procedures are key in the safety and recovery from your concussion.
Knee pain, ankle pain, back pain, neck pain, muscle cramping, and stingers are all signs that your body is poorly aligned and the nervous system has been altered. Chiropractic care is the best choice to heal quickly and efficiently!
At Cannon Pointe Chiropractic, we see and effectively treat athletes daily! We don’t just treat injuries, but help to enhance performance by improving balance, range of motion, full function of the nervous system, and strength of the human system.
- Techniques that we use include:
- Spinal and Extremity Adjusting
- Kinesiology Taping
- Functional Neurology
- Functional Nutrition
- Balance Coordination Training
- Electrical Stimulation
- Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation
- …and more…
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