Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Brain Injury Awareness Month: Youth Concussions

Due to the efforts of brain injury advoctes and doctors, the exposure of concussions in the National Football League and brain injuries suffered by U.S. soldiers in war, public awareness of concussions has never been higher. This awareness has started to create a trickle down effect in which legislation is being passed throughout the country requiring youth athletes to be removed from sporting events and evaluated by a doctor if they are exhibiting the signs of a concussion. For example, Florida's Legislature recently sent a bill to the Governor to sign which would require the same, and also require youth athletes to be evaluated by a doctor before returning to practice or games. This is similar to Florida's legislation previously passed regarding high school athletes.

While the National Football League currently faces a lawsuit for hiding the effects of concussions on its players for years, this has likely been the impetus for the passing of recent legislation, throughout the country, improving the way youth concussions are handled. As more states begin to pass legislation related to concussions, the sports environment for youth athletes will become safer. This will also require youth coaches, who are often parents volunteering, to understand the signs of concussion. This quick video should help...

This recent legislation is a step in the right direction for handling youth concussions, and a positive trend to recognize this Brain Injury Awareness Month.

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