Days after legislators introduced the Safety in Youth Sports Act in Harrisburg, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital’s post-concussion clinic was honored at last night’s Philadelphia Sports Writers Association banquet. The November clinic was aimed at helping athletes, parents, coaches and teams understand how soon is too soon to compete after suffering a head injury.
“Concussions are a major issue in sports these days, and it’s extremely important that people get the proper information in terms of learning how to deal with this dangerous injury,” association president Rich Westcott said.
Dr. Todd Lewis of Magee’s Brain Injury Service Department, who estimated up to three million annual sport-related concussions, said, “The cognitive, psychological, and physical impact of these traumatic brain injuries can be devastating if not properly assessed and managed. Thankfully, Pennsylvania legislators are heeding the warning and passing legislation regarding return to play guidelines.”
The youth sports act marks a legislative push to raise awareness after a year in which NFL efforts started trickling down to the youth level.
Chris Nowinski, a former pro wrestler credited for bringing the concussion issue to the forefront through the Sports Legacy Institute, said yesterday, “I couldn’t be happier that so many are stepping up to protect the brains of our young athletes.”