We're learning more about concussions. Thanks to coverage in the news and sports about them, the awareness is at a high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a 60 percent increase in ER visits for traumatic brain injuries for children and adolescents over the past decade. Who better to speak about this than someone whose dad, a beloved Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bear, committed suicide rather than live with a brain injury?
“CTE is a brain disease that is only caused by repetitive hits to the head and concussions,” said Tregg Duerson, son of the late Dave Duerson, whose suicide note requested that his brain be donated to research.
A bill would expand existing law on concussions and youth sports, applying it to all school-sponsored youth sports as well as youth leagues outside of school settings. It also calls for “concussion oversight teams” to be deployed and examine not only a “return to play” policy, but also a “return to learn” policy.
Advocates say the effects can bring down kids' grades; ironically, the sponsor, State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), learned one of his children suffered a concussion the same day he renewed discussions of the bill.