(SportsNetwork.com) - Mom and dad can now protect their children from vicious head injuries on the ball field.
The technology that Major League Baseball approved for pitchers to wear as protection against comebacking line drives will be available for youth baseball and softball players by the end of May.
Packaged under the brand name isoBLOX, the youth product is a skull cap that fits over the head and under the team hat, using the protective plating that proved effective at providing significant protection in MLB testing last year. The protective plating is a series of hinged hexagons that absorbs and diffuses energy upon impact with a high-velocity object.
The skull cap will be available exclusively at Dick's Sporting Goods beginning May 28 with a retail price of $59.99.
While some MLB pitchers have wear-tested the caps since spring training, nobody has worn one in a game, but many have expressed that they are in favor of the safety measure and may try it in a game pending further refinements.
"There has been steady demand from the public to have our technology available at all levels of baseball since we announced the results of our product testing at the beginning of this year," said Bruce Foster, CEO of parent company 4LicensingCorporation. "We can now get this protection into the hands of parents, and onto the heads of young players, in time for the late spring and summer baseball seasons."
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), an estimated total of nine million kids aged six to 17 play baseball and softball. The AAP reports that in high school and youth baseball and softball, 64-percent of injuries to the head and face are attributed to being hit by a batted ball.