New Jersey lawmakers have urged national health officials to tackle the problem of concussions in youth sports.
Senator Robert Menendez and representative Bill Pascrell, both of New Jersey, announced that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are going to develop national guidelines for taking action when student athletes receive concussions while playing.
Forty-one percent of concussed athletes are returning to play too soon, Pascrell said, The Star-Ledger reported. And the reason why they're returning to play too soon is that there's not a proper protocol, one we can agree on, to put you back on the field, put you through specific tests.
Some states have laws regarding when a student can return to play after getting a concussion, but Menendez and Pascrell want to see a national standard.
The science may be changing, but that's no excuse for not establishing a protocol, Pascrell said, The Associated Press reported. We're close to that for our soldiers, we need to be even closer for our children.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI), and the CDC has an information page about concussions related to youth sports.
It notes that concussions can happen in any sport, and that most occur without the sufferer losing consciousness.
Sports are a great way for kids and teens to stay healthy and this project will help us continue the important work in traumatic brain injuries in sports and other activities, the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control director Linda Degutis said, The AP reported. CDC's new initiative on pediatric guidelines will work to improve diagnosis and management of brain injuries in younger children and teens who are injured on or off the playing field.
According to SportsConcussions.org, an online organization that publishes information about concussions in sports, there are four things to remember when a student athlete gets one.
The athlete must be removed from play, referred to a medical provider, rest, and only return to playing with a doctor's permission.