U.S. President Barrack Obama hosted a summit earlier this week about the potential long term effects of concussions in children engaged in sports.
“We want our kids participating in sports,” Obama said in his opening remarks. “As parents, though, we want to keep them safe and that means we have to have better information.”
Last fall, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council published a report that identified startling gaps in concussion research, particularly in youth sports. The report also said a “culture of resistance” exists that prevents athletes them from reporting and fully recovering from concussions.
ABC News published a list of action items resulting from summit discussions. Talks focused on extending research efforts and building greater awareness through public campaigning.
Research & Funding:
- The NCAA and the Defense Department are committing $30 million to research on concussion risk, treatment, and management.
- The NFL is committing $25 million over three years to promote youth sports safety and add more athletic trainers in schools
- The National Institutes of Health are to make research efforts on the chronic effects of repetitive concussions.
- New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch is committing $10 million to launch UCLA’s Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program for prevention, outreach, and treatment. The money will also go to a national reporting system to track concussions in youth sports.
- The National Institute of Standards and Technology will invest $5 million over five years to accelerate development of advanced materials that can provide better protection against concussions.
- Pop Warner Little Scholars will participate in a research project that tracks concussions and concussion trends in high school sports.
Education & Awareness:
- Safe Kids Worldwide, partnered with Johnson & Johnson, will host 200 sports safety clinics for parents, coaches, and youth across the country.
- The Brain Injury Association of America, in collaboration with SAP, will build an online program to help students, parents, and educators transition kids back to school after a concussion.
- USA Cheer will unveil a new Head Injury Protocol to more than 300,000 cheerleaders and their coaches.
- U.S. Soccer will employ a chief medical officer focused on concussion management and prevention.
- The National Federation of State High School Associations, which writes playing rules for high school-level sports, will host a concussion summit this year focused on best practices to minimize injury risks in high school athletes.
- The National High School Athletic Coaches Association will provide education sessions on concussions at its summer convention.
- The CDC will promote a new app helping parents recognize and react if their child may have suffered a concussion.