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Bishop, NFL Put Concussion Legislation Back In Play

Originally Posted: January 27, 2011

Southampton - Congressman Tim Bishop with the support of the National Football League (NFL) re-introduced legislation to set minimum safety standards for concussion management in public schools. Congressman Bishop's legislation, The Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act, has the support of a coalition of Bishop's colleagues on the House Education and Workforce Committee including the panel's Ranking Member, George Miller of California.

The legislation builds on action in Washington, Oregon, and other states to help reduce the risk of concussions in youth sports by asking school districts across the country to implement a concussion safety and management plan. The NFL has endorsed the legislation and is working on similar protocols for their players.

"Concussions are an unfortunate reality of competitive sports from the sandlot to the Super Bowl," said Congressman Bishop. "This legislation will raise awareness of this very prevalent injury among high-schoolers, help teachers identify the subtle warning signs of concussion in classroom performance, and provide guidance for parents and coaches on when it is safe for a concussed student athlete to return to the playing field."

The legislation requires that individual school districts design plans to educate students, parents, and school personnel about concussion safety and how to support students recovering from concussions. Schools also must post information about concussions on school grounds and on school websites, and are encouraged to implement a "when in doubt, sit it out" policy for students suspected of sustaining a concussion during a school-sponsored athletic activity.

Concussions cause a spectrum of symptoms, commonly including altered mental status, physical symptoms, cognitive problems and difficulty sleeping. The number, type and duration of symptoms vary widely for each person. In comparison to older athletes, symptoms are intensified and recovery is prolonged for youth. Without proper identification, multiple concussions can lead to chronic diseases.

"The Protecting Student Athletes from Concussion Act represents a strong step forward in our shared goal of protecting young male and female athletes in all sports from the risks of concussion and other brain injuries. The NFL is pleased to support Congressman Bishop's important legislation" said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The legislation is also supported by the American College of Sports Medicine.

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