Introduction to the Hit Count® Guidebook
For young people, participation in sports and recreational activities is an important part of physical, mental, and social development. While these endeavors are meant to promote health, sports carry an inherent risk of njury. Without the proper rules, training, equipment, or supervision, sports can put the health and well-being of young people at unnecessary risk.
Evidence is growing that the short and long-term health risks associated with brain trauma in sports are more serious than previously known. While concussions have been the primary focus of the medical community, the media, and the sports world, it appears they are only part of the problem. A growing number of studies show the risk of short-term and long-term brain damage, and neurodegenerative disease may be more closely related to an athlete’s cumulative brain trauma over their lifetime. This brain trauma includes both concussions and subconcussive impacts, which are rapid movements of the head that don’t cause any concussion symptoms.
Studies are now finding that some athletes who have received subconcussive impacts, but have never shown any concussion symptoms, still have abnormal findings on certain tests of brain structure and function. It is not yet clear if these results were caused by too many impacts in a day, a season, a year, and even a lifetime, but one thing is clear:
No brain trauma is good brain trauma
The Hit Count® program is designed to allow parents, coaches, athletes, administrators, medical professionals, and researchers to directly measure brain trauma exposure in real time by counting the number of times an athlete receives significant brain trauma – their Hit Count®.
New technology has given way to innovative, low-cost products that allow head acceleration to be accurately measured. Many companies have developed sensors small enough to be embedded in or on helmets, mouth guards, beanies, chinstraps, and headbands. These products provide a tremendous opportunity to record data that will allow us to monitor athletes and help them play smarter and safer.
For more information about Hit Count®, please download the complete Hit Count® Guidebook