WASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller (D-WV) and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) today released the following statements after the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation passed S. 1014, the Youth Sports Concussions Act. The legislation seeks to protect youth athletes from the dangers of concussions by curbing false advertising claims that sports equipment manufacturers make in order to sell protective gear for sports. Action on S. 1014 coincides with April’s Youth Sports Safety Month, a campaign by STOP Sports Injuries to make sure parents, coaches, and athletes are educated on preventing sports injuries in kids. The Rockefeller-Udall bill now awaits action by the full Senate.
“Concussions are a very serious issue for children playing sports, and we should be doing everything to prevent and treat them,” Rockefeller said. “So it’s deeply frustrating that manufacturers are still able to make false promises about the protective qualities of their products, yet there’s no evidence I’ve seen that proves sports equipment is actually protecting youth athletes from concussions – and the Institute of Medicine backs this up. Senator Udall and I have remained committed to this bill that will help athletes, and their parents, fully understand the risks of concussions and other injuries when they use sports equipment.”
“Sports are a fun and healthy part of growing up, but athletes, coaches and parents need accurate and honest information about equipment and safety,” Udall said. “As we continue to look for the best ways to tackle the problem of sports concussions, I am pleased we’re making progress in taking false advertising out of the game. I want to thank Senator Rockefeller for his persistence with this bill as we move closer to its final passage.”
The Youth Sports Concussion Act, as amended in today’s markup, will increase potential penalties for using false injury prevention claims to sell youth sports equipment. S. 1014 is supported by major sports leagues and players associations, high school and college sports associations, pediatricians, scientists, and several consumer groups. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences recently released a report concluding there is little to no medical evidence that youth sports equipment protects against risks of concussions. At Rockefeller and Udall’s urging, the IOM studied how best to protect young athletes from sports-related concussions so parents and coaches can make informed decisions about how to keep athletes safe.
The legislation was introduced after the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing in October 2011 on sports equipment marketing and concussions. During the hearing, it was revealed that sports equipment manufacturers have repeatedly made claims that their equipment “prevents concussions” or “reduce the risk of concussions” without scientific evidence to back those claims.
Supporters of The Youth Sports Concussions Act:
- American Academy of Neurology
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- Brain Injury Association of America
- Brain Trauma Foundation
- Cleveland Clinic
- Consumer Federation of America
- Consumers Union
- Major League Baseball
- Major League Baseball Players Association
- Major League Soccer
- Major League Soccer Players Union
- National Association of State Head Injury Administrators
- National Athletic Trainers’ Association
- National Basketball Association
- National Collegiate Athletic Association
- National Consumers League
- National Federation of State High School Associations
- National Football League
- National Football League Players Association
- National Hockey League
- National Hockey League Players’ Association
- National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association
- National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment
- Safe Kids Worldwide
- US Lacrosse
- US Soccer Federation
- USA Hockey
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