Today the National Council on Youth Sports Safety (NCYSS) hosted a Sports
Huddle on Concussion, which took place on Capitol Hill in the Rayburn
Building. The goal of the event was to help raise awareness about
concussions in youth sports in our local communities. The panelist of speakers discussed
best practices for implementing concussion policies and barriers to implementation,
as well as public policy to advance concussion education and prevention,
considerations for DC law, and strategies for implementing federal legislation.
David Satcher, Co-Chair of NCYSS and a former Surgeon General of the United
States, and Elior Sorrel, Co-Chair of NCYSS, opened the event with welcoming
remarks. The keynote speaker was Kelli Jantz, mother of Jake Snakenberg.
Jake was only a freshman in high school when he died of second impact
syndrome within a day of taking a standard hit on the football field.
Thereafter, Ms. Jantz became a brain injury advocate in honor of her son.
Her efforts led to the passage of the Jake Snakenberg Youth Sports Concussion
Act of Colorado.
Joseph Cammarata was also a featured speaker at today’s event. Mr. Cammarata helped
to draft and enact Washington, D.C.’s
Athletic Concussion Protection Act of 2011, which is one of the most comprehensive pieces of legislation in the nation
involving youth athlete concussions. He is also the President of the Brain
Injury Association of Washington, D.C.
Mr. Cammarata spoke about the need to create a comprehensive program for
student athletes with return to play and return to learn guidelines. They
must be properly diagnosed and given adequate time to heal. A coordinated
approach between doctors, coaches, and teachers must be implemented to
allow for a gradual return to both the field and the classroom. He also
says that in order to make progress toward proper prevention and protection,
then concussions must be properly recognized for what they are, brain
injuries, which can have significant and sometimes devastating cognitive,
physical, and behavioral side effects.
We hope that the dedicated work of all of today’s speakers and attendees
will help raise concussion awareness and help in the implementation of
concussion safety protocols in the youth sports community. To learn more
about the National Council on Youth Sports Safety and how you can help
please visit http://bit.ly/1pOfLuO.