If we know how many hits our children take, we’ll be able to reduce the number. If we reduce the number of hits, we’ll reduce concussions. If we reduce concussions, we’ll protect our athletes.
Count every hit, because every hit counts
In the last several years, new sensor devices that track head impacts have given us an extra set of eyes on athletes. Recognizing a major opportunity to protect athletes, the Concussion Legacy Foundation launched the Hit Count program, which developed an innovative way to track the number of times an athlete is hit in the head – the Hit Count.
A pitch count for the brain
There is no such thing as a concussion detector. Since there is no universal threshold for concussion, no impact sensor can yet reliably predict which hits will cause a concussion and which won’t. What they can do is reliably track a Hit Count. Experts agree that any hit over 20G represents abnormal, and potentially dangerous, brain trauma. The vision of Hit Count is to count every impact 20G and above, and to give this information directly to parents and coaches so they can use this valuable metric to devise ways to play sports more safely. By limiting the Hit Count, we should reduce the number of concussions and subconcussive brain injuries. Just like a pitch count protects a pitcher’s elbow, limiting the number of hits an athlete takes will protect their brain.
Sensors must be accurate to drive good decision making. The Concussion Legacy Foundation helped create a standard and a test to ensure that sensors are accurate. The University of Ottawa currently manages the standard, and the Canadian Standards Association tests products. Only sensors marked with the Hit Count® Certified logo have been validated as accurate for impacts above the 20G threshold.