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Staying safe with seizures: Plum's® ProtectaCap®

In this quarterly issue, we are featuring a very important item that is especially useful for individuals who are prone to falls such as those that might occur during seizures.  Head injuries are an especially troubling problem that can accompany a variety of seizures. This product provides peace of mind and added safety.  

What is the ProtectaCap®?  How is it different than a regular helmet? And how is the ProtectaCap+Plus® different? 

Plum's® ProtectaCap® is the innovative protective headgear engineered for superior impact absorption and head protection but designed to be amazingly comfortable, lightweight [only a few ounces] and completely custom-fitting with full head coverage that does not slide around.   It was originally designed to meet the crucial head safety needs of toddlers and small children whose main center of gravity is their head, have an unsteady gate and are prone to falls.  Adding a hard, unyielding helmet that can slide around and add weight would add danger and lead to a fall. Thus, ProtectaCap® had to meet and exceed the seemingly mutually exclusive criteria of superior safety, a stay-put lightweight custom fit and of course be so comfortable that the child loved wearing it for freedom with safety for the child and peace of mind for the parents.

The medical and special needs communities took notice of ProtectaCap® and love it, first, for the cute and conventional look of the colorful "Cap" and non-institutional look of the traditional medical helmets and second, because children loved to wear it. But mostly they loved the proven superior protection. ProtectaCap® now protects all ages from newborns through adults. The same criteria of safe, lightweight custom fit with superior protection is ideal for adults as well as children and particularly for individuals with epilepsy.

What are some of the positives of Plum's® ProtectaCap®

- Comfortable, secure custom fit that won't slide around to block the vision or propel a backwards fall.

- Is fully encased in cotton blend putting comfortable cotton next to the head, not latex or rubber.

- Weighs only a few ounces for lightweight safety, breathability and comfort.

- Designed with highest quality of materials engineered specifically for superior impact absorption.

- Opens and expands gently and comfortably around the ears for protection without hearing loss.

- Conforms comfortably to virtually every head and size, from newborns through adults.

- Continuously adjustable chin strap of cotton interlock or the self-fabric to match ProtectaCap®.

- Comfortable enough for sleeping for nighttime protection from head injuries from falls.

- Easy care wash and dry for optimal anti-microbial safety.  Core material will not absorb water or breed bacteria. Ideal for safety in the shower or around the pool.

Plum® developed ProtectaCap+Plus® to meet some specific needs of its customers: to have a sporty-above the ear style, more specific forehead protection, and removable, replaceable Covers, Plum® calls "Plus Pockets®".

Here are some of the highlights of this "Plus" model:

- State-of-the-art head protection with comfortable, ergonomic fit.

- Sporty, above-the-ear style that can also accommodate hearing devices.

- Engineered with 2 distinct impact absorbing material for staged deceleration of impact energy.

- Will not crack despite multiple impacts; sturdy, rugged, cost-effective, yet very comfortable.

- Reinforced and targeted protection of forehead, temples and back of head.

- Top-anchored chin straps to ensure balanced stay-put fit.

-  Continuously adjustable comfortable self-fabric chin strap.

- Removable, washable, replaceable Plus Pocket® Covers that can be purchased separately.

- Easily adds a ProtectaChin® guard for added facial protection.

What sort of testing has it gone through and what have the results been? (Do you have a link to which you would like to direct the readers?) 

Plum's® ProtectaCap® and ProtectaCap+Plus® were engineered after years of research in the incidence, causes, morbidity, mortality, and prevention of head injury, and exhaustive research into the optimal materials, engineered specifically for superior impact absorption, around which were the comfortable, custom-fitting designs for ProtectaCap® and ProtectaCap+Plus® designed.

Both ProtectaCap® and ProtectaCap+Plus® were tested in accordance with ASTM testing, the American Society for Testing and Materials.  

Further, Plum's® ProtectaCap+Plus® was tested with other helmets and materials and rated the highest in fall protection for head injury prevention by the Veterans Patient Safety Center. Plum's® ProtectaCap+Plus® rated the highest with an 88.4% reduction in force energy.

Persons living with epilepsy can unfortunately fall during a seizure and sustain a head injury.  Do you find that a number of your clients have epilepsy?  Have you had any feedback from them about the ProtectaCap®?     

Plum® is privileged to have helped a great number of long-term customers with our ProtectaCap® and ProtectaCap+Plus® helmets, individuals who have experienced repeated, severe and unanticipated falls from epilepsy. Both they and their loved ones let us know how grateful they were that no head injury was sustained while wearing Plum's® helmets.

Does the cap need to be fitted or is there a general series of sizes? 

Proper fit and sizing is easy with ProtectaCap® and ProtectaCap+Plus®:  all that is needed is a head circumference around the head at the eyebrow level in inches, for a comfortable, ergonomic custom fit.  Both ProtectaCap® and ProtectaCap+Plus® are available in several sizes from XX-Small through X-Large and in a variety of colors.

Can the material be washed? 

Both ProtectaCap® and ProtectaCap+Plus® are easy care wash and dry.  ProtectaCap® can be easily washed and quickly dried, as only the fabric gets wet; the inner safety core materials do not absorb water and thus cannot breed harmful bacteria.  ProtectaCap+Plus® can likewise be washed and dried. But there is also the option of removing the Plus Pocket® Cover to wash, dry and replace.  One can also purchase extra Plus Pocket® Covers to have extra ones on hand, perhaps in a different color.

Is it comfortable to wear during sleep? Is it comfortable to wear in hot temperatures (is the material "breathable"?)

Both ProtectaCap® and ProtectaCap+Plus® are fully ventilated and breathable, and fully encased in a cotton blend. Both are comfortable enough for sleeping and nighttime safety from falls.  They are also both used post brain or cranial surgery, craniotomy, craniectomy, and really anytime comfortable, superior head protection is needed both day and night. 

How can someone purchase this and what are the typical costs?

Plum® sells ProtectaCap® and ProtectaCap+Plus® directly to the consumer, as well as to hospitals.  Plum® has a number of websites. Orders may be placed by contacting Plum or via one of Plum's® websites:

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