Call for Action

Image courtesy Paul Gooddy @ http://www.freedigitalphotos.netMy long-time readers will probably remember that one of my big “causes” is that of preventing concussions and brain injuries in our young people.  We have heard so much, in the media, about the large numbers of professional athletes who are turning up with sometimes serious head injuries as a result of taking repeated blows to the head during play.  Some of the more popular stories are those having to do with football players and boxers, but there are participants in many other sports being affected as well.

And it’s not just seasoned veterans who are being discovered to have injuries.  More and more is being learned about how our young people are being affected by blows to the head that aren’t even serious enough to be labelled as concussions.  More and more research is coming out about how to treat victims of such injuries, so that they don’t become permanently influenced.  And, more important, we’re learning how to protect our youth from being harmed in the first place.

Now, there is something that all Americans can do to help protect our citizens from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy — the fancy name for the disease that results from repeated concussions to the brain.  Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has introduced a bill into the U.S. Senate, called the Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act, S. 1546.  If passed, this bill would strengthen schools’ procedures (from kindergarten through graduation from high school), to prevent, detect, and treat concussions incurred while playing school sports.  Schools must formulate a plan which includes, among other elements, the training of school personnel  about concussions.  They must also develop programs for helping students who are recovering from concussions, both on the field and in the classroom.

All U.S. citizens are being asked to contact their senators, and ask them to support this important legislation.  Be sure to provide your name and contact information, so that they will know that you are a constituent, and can add your  name to their list of those who are in favor of the bill.  Be sure to pass this along to everyone you know.  If anyone outside the U.S. is reading this, please let your American friends know about it as well.  Hopefully, if we all pull together, we can continue to ensure the health of our young people.

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