Take a Stand to Protect Student Athletes from Concussion
The CDC estimates as many as 3.8 million concussions related to sports and recreation occur each year. A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Middle and high school students sustain mTBIs while participating in athletics, but many schools do not have the resources to adequately diagnose and treat these injuries. Too often, student athletes return to the field before their brains heal. A repeat concussion can slow recovery and increase the likelihood of having long-term challenges. Repeat concussions can result in second impact syndrome, which can lead to permanent brain damage and even death.
In addition to funding important work at the CDC and introducing legislation to protect student athletes, Congress should:
- Support the Concussion Awareness and Education Act sponsored by Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) to implement recommendations of the Institute of Medicine in its report, “Sports-Related Concussions in Youth: Improving the Science, Changing the Culture.”
- Appropriate $5 million for the CDC to take to scale the National Concussion Surveillance System, which would provide nationally representative incidence estimates of all TBI, sports- and recreation-related TBI, and TBI-related disability as well as the ability to monitor trends over time, including at the state level. Authorization for funding was included in the Reauthorization of the Traumatic Brain Injury Act of 2018.
BIAA gratefully acknowledges the Centre for Neuro Skills and Avanir Pharmaceuticals for their support for legislative action.