12 Investigates: Midlothian inventor tackles football safety

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - We see helmets flying into the air every weekend during college and NFL games. The image even signifies heavy hits in video games.

"I was like, 'man, this doesn't seem right to me.' We can put somebody on the moon, but we can't keep a helmet on our athlete's head," said inventor Allen Bancroft. The problem bothered Bancroft so much, he spent hours in his Midlothian garage until he came up with a new helmet restraint. It keeps the chin strap attached to the helmet and ultimately keeps the helmet from popping off a player's head. He calls it the NogginLOC.

"You watch football this weekend and start counting, because you're going to start noticing how many helmets are coming off. It's not one, it's not two, it's not three, it's multiple," said Bancroft.

The crush of research lately says concussions are on the rise and can be a big issue for these young players later in life. Bancroft showed us how easy a regular helmet and chin strap can be pulled apart.

"I'm just going to show you how much pressure it takes to release this." Bancroft tugs on the normal helmet chin strap and the helmet goes flying on the ground.

He then grabs a helmet with the NogginLOC attached and swings it wildly in the air. The helmet  and chin strap never come detached.

4th grader Chase Brown plays football for the Midlo Mustangs. He's been using the NogginLOC for a few weeks. He says it's much easier to snap on then a regular chin strap.

"Like on TV, I've see people in college and the NFL, their helmets coming off all the time and mine will never do that," said Chase.

"My first thought is I can't believe something this simple hasn't been invented yet," adds Chase's father, Roger. "Why didn't anybody think of this sooner!"

Bancroft has a patent pending on his device, but he's already selling the NogginLOC on his website and Facebook page. It retails for around $44 and can even be attached to bicycle helmets. You don't need to drill any new holes in the helmets- it fits the holes already on them.

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