Head protection push for children, the elderlyArticle from:
PROTECTIVE headgear for babies and the elderly could become compulsory in Queensland childcare centres and nursing homes amid brain injury fears.
Australia's Brain Injury Centre is leading a push for a State Government trial of the headwear, which has been designed and manufactured by a suburban Brisbane mother.
Up to 50,000 people suffer brain injuries each year in Queensland.
Researchers in the US have found infant skulls are just one-eighth the strength of an adult skull.
Brain Injury Centre chief executive officer Christian King said toddlers were at the greatest risk because skulls took until at least early adolescence to strengthen.
"We want to see trials done in preschools, playgrounds and junior contact sports," Mr King said. "Queensland could lead the way."
He added that 0.5 per cent of brain injury victims would remain in a vegetative state. "We need to do it. It is not going to stop it, but it is going to cushion the impact when they (toddlers) are constantly falling over."
Headgear designer Isla George recently patented her brand, Head Bumpa, and said parents, epilepsy sufferers, car accident victims and elderly dementia sufferers were using the product.
"I get a lot of queries from people who want to protect their elderly parents and no one wants to wear a helmet around," she said. "It doesn't look unsociable, it looks like a head band. It's quite trendy.
"If you put it on early, the kids get quite used to it and it becomes like putting on a hat."
The Albany Creek part-time shop assistant said she was making up to 500 Bumpas a year, but was in talks with a baby-goods manufacturer to mass-produce her invention.
Queensland Health's senior director of population health Linda Selvey has recommended that the manufacturer contact the Creche and Kindergarten Association of Queensland to explore the possibility of introducing the headgear in kindergartens across the state.
Mobile : 0419717516