I am following in the footsteps of my father by creating a blog. Though I will most likely not be able to replicate his linguistic prowess, I hope to provide useful, new, and insightful information as he does in his blog for Royal Caribbean.
Countywide Concussion Care has continued to make progress and to protect youth athletes. As the first athletic season of countywide ImPACT testing for Miami Dade public schools comes to a close, a new group of student-athletes who participate in Winter sports will be ImPACT tested, including those that participate in soccer, basketball, and wrestling.
The new concussion safety rules implemented by the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) have been in effect since the beginning of the school year. Interestingly enough, I had the chance to witness the application of these rules first hand. In my varsity soccer game the other night, the opposing team’s goalie’s head crashed into a member of my team’s knee. The referees instantly blew the whistle to halt the game. The referees made sure he could get up, and the goalie went to the bench. The goalie was not allowed to return to the game in order to make sure no further impact occurred. Seeing rules that I had fought for being enacted in a game I was playing made me very proud and glad to see that the hard work I’ve been putting in to make youth athletics safer is paying off.
On the legislative front, progress is also being made. The new bill to protect youth athletes from concussions, which is very similar to last year’s bill, passed the First Committee of Reference – the Education K – 12 Committee – in the Florida Senate. My family and the bill’s sponsors (Senator Flores, Rep. Renuart) are still in the process of game planning for the upcoming legislative process and the opposition we know we will face from Senator Dennis Jones, who has submitted legislation that explicitly grants chiropractors the ability to make return to play decisions, a power which our bill reserves for medical doctors. Though the supporters of the bill, my family, and I know that many challenges lie ahead, we are confident that our essential and cost-free legislation will prevail in the end. We will continue to fight for the protection of Florida youth athletes.
Lastly, my family and I have been working with another family whose goal is to increase concussion awareness, education and prevention in Broward County. I hope to provide more information on this effort soon.