One 13-year-old from San Diego may have come up with a way to help change the future of football injuries. Inspired after watching a violent football game, Ryan Beck decided he wanted to invent a newer, safer kind of helmet.
According to ABC 10 News, the teen created a helmet that has the potential to decrease the impact of a helmet-to-helmet collision by around 55 percent. Head injuries can ultimately lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative disease.
"Getting a concussion is like running with just your bare skull into a wall going 20 miles per hour," Ryan told ABC 10 News.
The 13-year-old used a pendulum and a pressure sensor to determine which materials made for the most protective helmet. He also used the same kind of foam that people stand on when relieving back pains and covered it with neoprene, a kind of rubber sheet that's used in wetsuits.
Watch the video above to learn more about Ryan's life-saving helmet.
The helmet, which reportedly won third place in the California State Science Fair, is also for the benefit of younger, non-professional athletes.
"They need to be protected just as much as the older players," Ryan explained.
In February 2012, Canadian researchers found that teens who suffer from concussions are more sensitive to its long-term effects than adults or children. The study authors concluded that concussions have the potential to affect short-term memory in adolescents lasting for six months or longer.
In an effort to start more conversations around the issue, in March a number of professional football and hockey players advocated for head injury education and prevention on a panel at Villanova University, "Concussion Conundrum." Keith Primeau, a retired NHL player, said he suffered from four known concussions throughout his 15-year career but wasn't sure of how many other possible concussions he had since he was a kid.
"I know we can't see the injury," Primeau said. "But trust me, people suffer."
The former hockey player has also co-founded a website with the intention of raising awareness and encouraging more research about concussions.