Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act is endorsed by major professional and college sports organizations

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today introduced the Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act to strengthen elementary and secondary school procedures for preventing, identifying, and treating student-athletes who suffer concussions. The National Federation of State High School Associations estimates that about 140,000 students playing high school sports suffer concussions every year, though many go unreported. Durbin’s bill requires states to adopt “when in doubt, sit it out” policies, which prevent student-athletes suspected of having sustained a concussion from returning to play the same day and, after that, only allowing them to return to play once they have been cleared by a qualified health care professional.

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“The ‘walk it off’ mentality can lead to dangerous, long term consequences when it comes to concussions. We must take these injuries seriously, especially when it comes to youth sports,” said Durbin. “Adopting a ‘when in doubt, sit out’ policy will improve safety and protect student health on the field, court, and track.”

Durbin’s legislation will also raise awareness about the danger of concussions among student athletes by directing states to develop concussion safety guidelines for public school districts. This includes posting educational information on school grounds and school websites about concussion symptoms and risks, and recommended responses for student athletes, parents, coaches, and school officials.

Organizations endorsing Durbin’s Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act include American College of Sports Medicine; American Academy of Neurology; National Football League (NFL); National Basketball Association (NBA); Major League Baseball (MLB); National Hockey League (NHL); National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA); American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy; Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy; American Physical Therapy Association; Easterseals; Illinois High School Association; National Association of School Psychologists; National Association of Secondary School Principals; National Disability Rights Network; National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association; National Parent Teacher Association; Pop Warner Little Scholars; U.S. Soccer Federation; USA Cheer; USA Football; Safe Kids World Wide; and Sports & Fitness Industry Association.

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