Last week the Federal Trade Commission came to a settlement with the company Brain-Pad Inc., to curtail and stop its misleading advertising about concussions. The details were not readily available but the fact that someone is taking notice makes me smile. As you may remember I have taken them and others to task about their claims; and have yet to get any formal or coherent response from any company after I ask real questions.
It is about time companies are punished for making outrageous and untrue claims in the concussion area. I am all for innovation and invention; that is where our solutions will come from. In the area of concussion companies can prey on the less informed general public to shape their product. While some products “claim” that they do not promote concussion prevention they feed emails and media enough information about its “possible” properties that a leap is natural. Heck some companies use “research” to tout claims; the problem with the “research” is that it is not scientific research, which is important for integrity and safety (I have a good list of companies that need to be reeled in).
Granted there are many things out there that can protect your head – which some think means protect against concussion – the truth of the matter is that the brain floats in fluid inside the skull. Protecting the skull will mitigate linear forces to the head, but everyone must remember that the forces that create the majority of concussions are acceleration/deceleration, rotational and angular. Any device placed in the mouth or on the head cannot – at this time – attenuate those forces.
Also everyone should be very cognizant that the vast majority of all concussions occur outside of organized sports. Bike riding, skateboarding, jumping on a trampoline, car accidents all outpace sports. The concussion issue is NOT nor should be a referendum on sports (football mainly), it should be an exercise in awareness and proper management.