Congress Makes Effort to Instill New Guidelines in High School Sports for Concussions and Other Head Injuries
Frank J. Dito, Jr.
School sports can be a great way for your child to get proper exercise and to learn how to be competitive and may even result some day in your child playing a sport on a college or professional level but there are some problems associated with high school sports in certain areas.
One major problem with high school sports is the way that injuries are handled which is why lawmakers in New Jersey are taking a step to help keep children and teens involved in contact high school sports safe. In a conference held last Tuesday with Rep. Bill Pascrell (NJ) and Sen. Robert Menendez (NJ) the outline for the new method of guidelines for treatment or concussions was created. This new guideline for high school sports will be known as the Concussion Treatment and Care Tools (ConTACT) Act. This act will help schools with the treatment and diagnosis of concussions and will emphasize base-line diagnostic testing for the youth before they are able to participate in sports.
The ConTACT Act was designed to follow in the steps that the NFL and other professional and college sports which have an established system that is to be followed in the event of a concussion.
At the presentation of the ConTACT Act were two former NFL players and two high school students that were involved in high school sports all of which suffered life changing effects from concussions. One of the high school athletes, now 18 years of age, explained how she was forced to give up basketball from the 11 concussions that she suffered over a four year period. She said that often she returned to the basketball court only a few weeks after suffering a concussion. She now says that she can no longer play basketball and sometimes has trouble making it through the day because of lingering issues such as chronic headaches. She explains that the life changing experience of not being able to play a sport that she loves is upsetting and that it is much better for children, teens and adults alike to sit out of the game and miss whatever amount of time they need to get better rather than rushing to get back out to play without fully recovering.
Head injuries can be very dangerous and detrimental to a child’s health if their high school sport injury is not properly attended to. As a parent it is your job to make sure your child stays safe while under your supervision but when children play high school sports the responsibility during practice and games shifts to the responsibility of the coach and ultimately your child is the schools liability.
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