Congress recently addressed the issue of youth sports concussions and whether legislation to protect young athletes from the effects of concussions could become federal law. The New York Times reports that the House Energy and Commerce Bill, which is also known as the Concussion Treatment and Care Tools Act or the Contact Act, was officially refined and ready for a vote on the House floor.
The Contact Act requires Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to assemble experts who would propose general guidelines for managing concussions in athletes between the ages of 5 and 18 and who are involved in all sports. The bill also sets aside federal grants to states that put policies and safeguards in place.
In another hearing, the House Education and Labor Committee discussed the Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act. This bill calls for public school districts to create and put in their own policies for managing sports concussions and to develop special academic services for recovering athletes. It also requires that any athlete with an alleged concussion must be taken out from playing until a proper health-care specialist clears the athlete.
Testimonies in the hearings for both bills focused on two aspects of concussions among young athletes. First, head injuries happen in every contact sport with girls or boys. Second, poorly administered concussions can seriously and negatively affect an athlete's academic performance for weeks or even months.
Concussions may also call for New York personal injury attorney to determine any potential theories of legal claims regarding the brain injury of a young athlete. Visit the Related Resources to read more on concussions and brain injuries.
- Hockey Concussion Injuries Linked to Brain Damage (FindLaw's Injured Blog)
- Call a New York Personal Injury Attorney (FindLaw)
- Your Legal Options Following a Traumatic Brain Injury (FindLaw's KnowledgeBase)