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The National Council on Youth Sports Safety, Protecting Athletes and Sports Safety; Washington, DC Sports Huddle on Concussion

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.

DC Concussion LawyerDavid 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.

CSCS Partner 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