SAN DIEGO — The return of football season brings with it concerns about concussions — and not just for NFL and college football players.
Light Helmets is using state-of-the-art technology to develop a helmet for kids who are taking part in flag football.
"Flag football is the fastest growing sport in America right now with over 7 million kids playing," Light Helmets CEO Nicholas Esayian said.
While flag football is supposed to be a non-contact sport, head injuries do occur.
"We see kids playing flag football, and they do make contact — whether that is their head hitting the ground, another kid's head, or a knee," Esayian said. "So there is that opportunity for injury."
Light Helmets used the liner from their hard shell helmet to create a helmet for flag football players.
"We based ours on the 'combat helmet,'" Esayian saod. "We use the same liners that we use in our award-winning football helmets, and not only do we protect the head area. Virginia Tech gave us a 100% in regards to what part of the head we protect. We also received a perfect score per their index or scale for impacts."
Virginia Tech is the independent testing lab most entities look at when testing safety products, like football helmets. Light Helmets also conducts its own impact testing.
"We don't build helmets to pass a test; we build them for real-world play in athletes," Esayian said. "Even if only some of these kids are wearing this helmet because they are soft, it can protect another athlete that is not wearing a helmet or piece of headgear. When you have head-to-head contact, it protects that athlete as well."
Esayian says the new helmets can also be worn to reduce the injury risk in women's soccer, the number one concussed sport in the United States.
This story was originally published by Steve Smith on Scripps station KGTV in San Diego.