Hockey Canada has released a new sports injury app for iOS, BlackBerry, and Android devices.
With the creation of the Concussion Awareness app, the organization aims to reduce the number of brain injuries sustained by hockey players. The app teaches users how to recognize the symptoms of concussions and includes up-to-date safety guidelines for players and their families.
In an effort to reach a broader audience, Hockey Canada has produced two versions of the app. The version for kids features a short game with Puckster, Hockey Canada’s mascot. In the game, a helmet-clad Puckster dodges obstacles on the ice while hockey safety tips appear in the background.
The adult version of the app contains additional information about Hockey Canada’s partners and the science behind concussions. It encourages parents to take immediate action if they suspect a child has been injured and includes an interactive "Find Hospital" feature. Using Google Maps, the app can immediately locate the closest hospital in the case of an emergency.
Hockey Canada stresses that the app should be used as a source of information and not a diagnostic tool. Still, they expect it will appeal to the entire hockey community.
“This app has a variety of very useful information on concussions for parents, players, officials and volunteers,” Hockey Canada president and CEO Bob Nicholson said in a statement. “Download this app to your phone or tablet today, and you will have concussion information on prevention, rules, symptoms and ‘return to play’ protocol at your fingertips.”
Recently, the app also received an official endorsement from Sidney Crosby, who has suffered multiple concussions over the course of his professional career. "I feel very fortunate that hockey has been part of my life since I was very young and admire Hockey Canada's commitment to educating families and players about all aspects of the game," he said.
The app was funded by a $1.5 million dollar grant from the federal government as part of its Active and Safe Initiative. It was produced jointly by the Coaching Association of Canada, the Canadian Centre for Ethics and Sport, and ThinkFirst/Pensez d’Abord Canada.
It is the second app developed by Hockey Canada and follows the successful release of the Team Canada Table Hockey app earlier this year.