CARTER COUNTY, Okla. (KXII) - Dr. Derek Landis is an Ardmore pediatrician who says he's seen plenty of kids with concussions from playing football.
He says he loves the sport but values the safety of players, like his own son, more.
So when he heard about a product called Guardian, padded cover caps that fasten to the outside of the helmet, he wanted Carter County kids to have them to wear during high contact practices.
"These actually decrease the force of impact up to 30%, that's for an individual impact," Dr. Landis said. "It's almost like an airbag for the helmet."
Mercy Foundation, Mercy Hospital and the Bone and Joint Clinic of Southern Oklahoma donated $12,000 to buy 280 caps for four high schools.
Both Dr. Landis and Ardmore Head Football Coach Josh Newby say they saw fewer concussions.
"We wore them all year long and just basically trying to reduce wear and tear on our kids during practice that way they can get to the game and compete at the highest level," Coach Newby said.
There is still potential for a concussion with the cap, if the impact is strong enough but it lessens the blow of the smaller and consistent hits players take during practices.
"There's hundreds and thousands of these little non impressive impacts that are just kind of softening the brain up for that bigger hit that comes either practice or game time that triggers that concussion," Dr. Landis said. "So what this does is it takes those little impacts out of the equation so we shouldn't see as many (concussions)."
"I'm definitely grateful and I appreciate them looking out for me and my teammates," Ardmore's quarterback Tero Roberts said. "I just want to thank them and I can't thank them enough."
The caps were also donated to Lone Grove, Dickson, and Plainview schools.