Legislation aims to curb concussions through education – St. Petersburg Times

Legislation aims to curb concussions through education – St. Petersburg Times

TALLAHASSEE — David Goldstein was a freshman on his high school soccer team last year when he was called in to sub during district finals.

It was a dream situation, one he couldn’t let go even after colliding head-to-head with another player in the first half. “My hands went to my head, and I knew something wasn’t right,” he said.

Goldstein played through the second half for Miami’s Ransom Everglades and during a scrimmage the next day. He didn’t figure out he was probably suffering from a concussion until he could hardly move from the pain. Goldstein says he could have avoided the headaches, nausea and months of hourslong naps during school had he been properly educated about brain injuries and stopped playing.

Now he’s on a mission with a batch of state lawmakers, former NFL players and medical experts. They spoke at the Capitol on Tuesday to support a bill that aims to curb concussions in youth sports through education and regulation.

“In the past, it was ‘you got your bell rung.’ You shake it off and got back in the game,” said Rep. Ronald Renuart, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, a bill sponsor.

HB 301 and SB 730 would require the Florida High School Athletic Association to remove athletes showing signs of a concussion during a game or practice until they receive clearance from a medical professional.

Students and parents would sign consent forms that explain the risk of concussions, and returning to play too soon, every year before the start of practice or games. These rules would not just apply to FHSAA-governed sports, but to organized youth athletics at government-owned facilities. The FHSAA supports the measure.

National experts estimate 140,000 high school athletes suffer concussions every year. About 40 percent return to play before they have recovered. Repeat concussions can affect mood, social development, memory and worse, Renuart said.

A national poll last fall found that only 8 percent of parents with children ages 12-17 who play school sports have read or heard about the risks of repeat concussions.

Nine states have passed similar bills. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants each state to have a law by 2015, said Kenneth Edmonds, the league’s government relations and public policy director.

Goldstein still plays soccer, though only while wearing a rugby helmet. He came to Tallahassee with his parents, Cheryl and Adam, who is president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.

“Now I know, and I’m a different player now,” he said. “I’m trying to spread that message to as many people as possible.”

Brain Injury Awareness Day in Tallahassee – Press Release and photos

Brain Injury Awareness Day in Tallahassee – Press Release and photos

Brain Injury Association of Florida Launches “Mind Your Brain Campaign”
More Access & Support Sought for Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors
New Resource Center, Sports Concussion Legislation Highlighted

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Florida’s 100,000 annual survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury and their families have quicker access to assistance than ever before through a new statewide database of community services tailored to meet their needs, Brain Injury Association of Florida announced today.

The Traumatic Brain Injury Resource & Support Center is designed to give Floridians who have experienced brain injuries one-stop access to a vast network of information and services – as well as education and advocacy – through a web-based portal (www.byyourside.org) and toll-free helpline (1-800-992-3442).

The Center – along with proposed legislation aimed at reducing sports-related concussions among youth athletes – is part of Brain Injury Association’s kickoff of a statewide “Mind Your Brain Campaign…Because it Matters.” The campaign will raise public awareness about Traumatic brain Injury (TBI) and the need for more support of prevention, early intervention and treatment efforts.

Read entire press release


Soccer player seeks to curb concussions | Miami Herald

David Goldstein was a freshman on his high school soccer team last year when he was called in to sub during district finals.

It was a dream situation, one he couldn’t let go even after colliding head-to-head with another player in the first half. “My hands went to my head, and I knew something wasn’t right,” he said.

Goldstein played through the second half for Miami’s Ransom Everglades and during a scrimmage the next day. He didn’t figure out he was probably suffering from a concussion until he could hardly move from the pain.

Goldstein says he could have avoided the headaches, nausea and months of hours-long naps during school had he been properly educated about brain injuries and stopped playing.

Now he’s on a mission with a batch of state lawmakers, former NFL players and medical experts. They spoke at the Capitol on Tuesday to support a bill that aims to curb concussions in youth sports through education and — unpopular as it may sound this year — regulation.

“In the past, it was you got your bell rung. You shake it off and got back in the game,” said Rep. Ronald Renuart, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, a bill sponsor.

“Those days are over,” said Sen. Antiere Flores, R-Miami, a co-sponsor. “Quite frankly, we know better.”

HB 301 and SB 730 would require the Florida High School Athletic Association to remove athletes showing signs of a concussion during a game or practice until they receive clearance from a medical professional. Further, students and parents would sign consent forms that explain the risk of concussions, and returning to play too soon, every year before the start of practice or games. These rules would not just apply to FHSAA-governed sports, but to organized youth athletics at government-owned facilities. FHSAA supports the measure.

National experts estimate 140,000 high school athletes suffer concussions every year. About 40 percent return to play before they have recovered, habits that often worsen the effects.

Repeat concussions can affect mood, social development, memory and worse, Renuart said. A national poll last fall found that parents are considerably in the dark. Only 8 percent with children aged 12-17 who play school sports have read or heard about the risks of repeat concussions. Nine states have passed similar bills.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants each state to have a law by 2015, said Kenneth Edmonds, the league’s government relations and public policy director.

Nat Moore, a former Miami Dolphins receiver and now a team vice president, said the bill is “near and dear” to his heart: “On behalf of the Miami Dolphins, I pledge that we will do everything we can to help facilitate this and make this happen.”

Goldstein still plays soccer, though only while wearing a rugby helmet. He came to Tallahassee with his parents, Cheryl and Adam, who is president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.

“Now I know, and I’m a different player now,” he said. “I’m trying to spread that message to as many people as possible.”

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/02/22/2080217/soccer-player-seeks-to-curb-concussions.html#ixzz1VV8jez00

Florida legislation aims to help student athletes suffering concussions – WTSP

Florida legislation aims to help student athletes suffering concussions – WTSP

Tallahassee, Florida — Every year, an estimated 140,000 high school athletes suffer concussions across the United States.

Athletes say, too often, they just dismiss the injury as “getting your bell rung” and they return to play before they’re ready.

The Brain Injury Association of Florida says that can be especially dangerous for the still-developing brains of young people.

Now a proposed bill aims to prevent injured high school athletes from returning to play too soon.

The legislation would require injured students to receive written clearance from a doctor before returning to play, as well as educatestudents, coaches and parents about the dangers and symptoms of concussions.

Sixteen-year-old David Goldstein spoke in favor of the bill at the state Capitol on Tuesday.  He painfully understands the consequences of ignoring the symptoms of a concussion.

Goldstein sustained a serious concussion last year during a soccergame and even though it caused headaches, nausea and fatigue, he continued to play.

Now he knows that was a mistake.  Goldstein thinks the bill will help prevent other student athletes from going through his experience.

“I learned the hard way and it didn’t have to be that way.  That’s why I support the sports concussion legislation because it is about education and trying to prevent serious or permanent brain damage by keeping an injured player from going back into the game too soon.”

Rep. Ronald “Doc” Renuart, a doctor for more than 40 years, is sponsoring the legislation.

He says it would also create uniform guidelines for schools on removing athletes from a game when they suffer head injuries.

“This is a time for us to work together to protect our student athletes when they’re at the most vulnerable stages of brain development.  I just met David for the first time today and thought he was rather articulate.  But unfortunately his very compelling story is not unique and it points out the need that we have to have standards across the state to protect our students.”

Former NFL Player Lawrence Dawsey says he has a 12-year-old son that plays sports.  Dawsey says a bill like this is needed.

“To have a bill like this in place would definitely make me as a parent feel more comfortable knowing that we’re doing all that we can do as a state to help our kids be successful on the field as well as off the field .”

The Brain Injury Association is also unveiling a new database of services available for people with traumatic brain injuries and their families.  The website is located at: www.byyourside.org.

Dave Heller