WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senator Amy Klobuchar, along with Senators Tom Udall and Richard Blumenthal, welcomed passage of their bill in the Senate Commerce Committee aimed at protecting young athletes from the dangers of sports-related traumatic brain injuries. The senators, all members of the committee, introduced the Youth Sports Concussion Act earlier this year to help ensure that safety standards for sports equipment, including football helmets, are based on the latest science and curb false advertising claims made by manufacturers to increase protective sports gear sales.


“One thing’s certain about Minnesotans – we love our sports. But whether it's football, hockey, or the many other sports we play and love, parents, coaches, and young athletes must be equipped with the facts and informed of the risks when making safety decisions,” Klobuchar said. “Today’s Commerce Committee passage of our bill will protect our athletes and help make sure they can continue to compete on and off the field safely.”

 

Klobuchar, Udall, and Blumenthal introduced the Youth Sports Concussion Act ahead of Super Bowl 50, amid discussion among doctors, players, researchers and others about the need to protect players — especially young athletes — from experiencing debilitating head injuries. Athletes suffer up to 3.8 million concussions every year, and sports are the second-leading cause of traumatic brain injuries among youth ages 15-24. 

 

An extensive National Academy of Sciences report previously found a lack of scientific evidence that helmets and other protective devices designed for young athletes reduce concussion risk — yet some manufacturers continue to use false advertising claims that prevent athletes, parents and coaches from making informed safety decisions.

 

In 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warned nearly 20 sports equipment manufacturers that they might be making deceptive concussion prevention claims,  but the FTC's actions thus far have not deterred companies from making these claims. The Youth Sports Concussion Act would empower the FTC to seek civil penalties in such cases.

 

Many sports, medical and consumer organizations have supported the Youth Sports Concussion Act, including:

 

American Academy of Neurology

American Academy of Pediatrics

Brain Injury Association of America

Brain Trauma Foundation

Cleveland Clinic

Consumer Federation of America

Consumers Union

Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball Players Association

Major League Soccer

Major League Soccer Players Union

National Association of State Head Injury Administrators

National Athletic Trainers' Association

National Basketball Association

National Collegiate Athletic Association

National Consumers League

National Federation of State High School Associations

National Football League

National Football League Players Association

National Hockey League

National Hockey League Players’ Association

National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association

National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment

Safe Kids Worldwide

United States Brain Injury Alliance

US Lacrosse

US Soccer Federation

USA Hockey

Xenith

 

 

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