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On May 26, President Obama convened a day-long summit at the White House. Why? To address the issue of brain injury in youth sports. The summit included researchers, parents, coaches, professional athletes and sportscasters, and focused on the need to prevent, identify, and respond to childhood brain injuries. This is a serious problem, with 250,000 children visiting the emergency room with sports and recreation-related brain injuries.
The President emphasized the value of team sports, but balanced that importance against the risks of concussions during practice and play. He announced a $30 million project by the N.C.A.A. and the Department of Defense to study concussion risks and treatments.
The NFL is getting involved too, pledging to spend $25 million over 3 years on programs to promote youth sport safety. Steve Tisch, the owner of the New York Giants has himself contributed $10 million to research at the UCLA BrainSPORT Program (Brain Sports concussion Prevention Outreach Research and Treatment).
This is an important step toward recognizing what one researcher called “one of the most important health issues of the decade.” In the past few years more and more athletes, from NFL players to boxers, have come out about the long-term effects of concussions received during their careers, and have filed lawsuits related to their injuries.
Just like with other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) – from falls or car accidents – concussions may have lasting physical, mental, and emotional affects. TBI can affect a person’s behavior, the way they think, even their personality. When these injuries happen while the brain is still forming the effects can be significant, even when they do not surface immediately.
With this kind of financial support, advocate for brain injury research hope to improve their ability to prevent, identify, and respond to concussions in school athletes. They want to make it safe for students to play team sports. If you know someone who has suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact the experts at Christensen Law for a consultation today.