Courtesy of the White House, and presented without comment, here are some remarks about concussions.
FACT SHEET: President Obama Applauds Commitments to Address Sports-Related Concussions in Young People
Sports are one of the best ways to keep our kids active and healthy, but young people make nearly 250,000 emergency room visits each year with sport or recreation-related brain injuries. As a sports fan and a parent with two young daughters, President Obama believes we need to do more to protect the health and safety of our kids. Today, the President will host the first-ever White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit to advance research on sports-related youth concussions and raise awareness of steps to prevent, identify and respond to concussions in young people.
The truth is we still do not know enough about the consequences of traumatic brain injuries, where it’s a hard knock on the playing field or head injury sustained by one of our troops serving abroad. Every mother and father, friend and family deserves to know everything we can about the best way to care for our young athletes and veterans and that’s the core focus of today’s White House Summit.
Staying Active and Playing Safe
Each day, hundreds of thousands of young athletes head out to fields, ice rinks and gymnasiums to practice and compete in a wide variety of sports. There is no doubt that sports are a great way for kids and teens to stay healthy, as well as to learn important leadership and team-building skills. At the same time, parents are increasingly concerned about the role of concussions in sports. Concussions can have a serious effect on young, developing brains, and can cause short- and long-term problems affecting how a child thinks, acts, learns, and feels. While most kids and teens with a concussion recover quickly and fully, some will have symptoms that last for days, or even weeks, and a more serious concussion can last longer.
Last fall, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council published a report that found that there are gaps in our concussions research knowledge and that there is a startling lack of data on concussions, especially in youth sports. The report also found that there is still a “culture of resistance” among athletes related to the self-reporting of concussions and the adherence to treatment plans once they experience a concussion.