May 2016 Heads Up Concussion and Helmet Safety App
What it is: A mobile app that provides information on preventing, identifying and responding to head injuries and concussions.
What devices: iPhones, iPads, Android devices
Who should use it: Parents, coaches, healthcare providers, anyone involved in youth sports
Why use it: As we head into summer many children are going to start spending more time in sports activities. Recently, the risk of head injuries during sports has become a regular topic of conversation. The Heads Up app from the Centers for Disease Control provides well-researched and actionable information regarding head injuries and concussion as well as plans for prevention.
The most important aspect of prevention of head injuries and concussions is appropriate safety equipment. The Heads Up app offers the Helmet Fit 360. This interactive component of the app allows users to see all facets of appropriate safe fitting of a sports helmet. The options cover everything from baseball and softball helmets to helmets for skateboarding and equestrian sports. It will show you how to measure a child’s head to find the right fit for each helmet, visualize how it might it should fit snugly on a head and clearly show how a child’s eyes should be in relation to the helmet for adequate vision. Every figure for each helmet can turn 360 degrees by swiping across the touchscreen on your device.
The other component of the Head Up app is a very in depth look at the information all parents, coaches and even healthcare providers need to know about head injuries and concussions. There is information on basic signs to look out for, both from an adult and child participants point of view. There are danger signs to review to see if emergency personnel need to be activated. There are great guidelines to follow to help those children who have had a concussion to help them return to school, succeed in school and eventually return to the plain sports. There are options to be linked directly to the CDC’s website for further information.
Overall this app is a must have for everyone involved in youth sports to be aware of the risks of head injuries, work on prevention and if needed, helped an injured athlete recover successfully.