Durbin tells Obama to promote strict youth concussion policy

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told President Obama to support his efforts to reduce health risks to young athletes who get concussions.

Durbin has called for a strict “when in doubt, sit it out” policy so that young athletes don’t risk further injury after getting a concussion.

ADVERTISEMENT
“Youth sports are a great way for students to stay healthy while learning important team-building skills,” Durbin wrote in a letter to Obama on Wednesday. “However, some students stay in the game not recognizing the risks of playing hurt, especially when they’ve had a concussion.”

Durbin’s letter came the day before the White House was scheduled to host the Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit, where parents, kids, coaches and doctors will meet on Thursday to discuss the risk concussions poise to young athletes.

Durbin has also introduced the Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act, which implements a “when in doubt, sit out” policy and requires schools to notify a student’s parents of an injury and obtain a written release from a doctor before the student plays again.

“Injuries may be a part of all sports, but as we learn more about the long term effects of concussions and how frequently they are ignored, it is clear we have to step up our game to confront this national health risk,” Durbin wrote. “We can’t afford to take any chances.”