Woodpeckers might be loud, but they’re the source for a collar that should reduce brain injuries in athletes and service members

What started 10 years ago with an offhand comment about the head-banging woodpecker has become a simple-looking device that just might prevent the types of brain injuries that have parents wondering if they should pull their children from the athletic field.

Meet the Q Collar. The semicircular piece wraps around the sides and back of the neck, placing pressure on the jugular vein to send blood into the skull and, developers say, prevent the sloshing of the brain caused by hits to the head.

The collar, which is being sold in Canada as the Bauer NeuroShield, has its design roots in Whitehall. Take a peek inside a Priority Designs engineering lab, and you’ll see several iterations of the device — the work of a team headed by Jamison Float, senior biomedical engineer at the South Hamilton Road firm.

“It’s probably one of the most, if not the most, significant thing I will have ever worked on,” Float said. “I would like to see it on every kid that’s playing a sport that could potentially cause brain injury.”

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