WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Leonard Lance (R-NJ-07), led a bipartisan group of lawmakers, representatives from national sports organizations and officials from the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation in holding a Capitol Hill news conference today to announce the start of Brain Injury Awareness month.
During the event, representatives from national sports organizations announced their support for legislation authored by the Seventh District lawmaker known as “The National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan Act” (PABI Plan Act). Lance’s bill, H.R. 2600, launches a national initiative dealing with youth sports concussions and other brain injuries. The legislation also covers the entire continuum of care from prevention, treatment in acute medical facilities, reintegration back into the schools, communities and homes and then transitioning into an adult system of greater independent living.
“Concussions in youth sports is a public health crisis and H.R. 2600 is a comprehensive approach to preventing, identifying and treating concussions and all brain injuries in American youth,” said Lance at a Capitol Hill news conference. “We are also grateful for the endorsement and support of so many organizations that teach our kids to play sports, protect them from injury and treat them if they have an injury.”
H.R. 2600 has been endorsed by more than 100 members of Congress and numerous health, education and athletic-related groups – including the American College of Sports Medicine, American Orthopedic Society of Sports Medicine, American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries and Physical Fitness, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, American Council on Exercise, Pop Warner, US Lacrosse, American Sports Medicine Institute, Center for Sports Medicine, National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, United States Olympic Committee – Paralympics, Afterschool Alliance, American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine and Washington Youth Soccer.
“Pediatric Acquired Brian Injury is a very serious and growing problem in America. Federal health officials say emergency room visits for sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, among children and adolescents increased by 60 percent since 2001. We must continue to work together to further raise awareness of traumatic brain injury among today’s youth,” Lance concluded.