Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today released the following statement after the West Virginia Board of Education approved rules this week that will help prevent youth concussions. Under the new rules, high schools will have to share the risks of sports-related head injuries with parents, coaches and student-athletes, and report any of these injuries within 30 days.
"I'm so proud that West Virginia raised the bar in how we treat concussions with student athletes. This reflects a new way of thinking about protecting our children, and it's something that I've been pushing for at the federal level. Nothing is more important than keeping our children safe so they can continue to play the sports they love."
Rockefeller has long advocated for protecting young athletes from the dangers of head injuries. He recently introduced the Youth Sports Concussion Act of 2013 that would make sure children are safe on sports fields, and parents aren't misled by false and unproven claims from manufacturers of safety equipment. The legislation would facilitate the creation of up-to-date safety standards for helmets and other protective sports equipment while clamping down on manufacturers using deceptive claims about their products' ability to prevent or treat concussions.
Rockefeller last year convened a roundtable discussion in Shepherdstown with medical experts, sports professionals, coaches and parents during Youth Sports Safety Month to help raise awareness of many of the causes and impacts of concussions and head injuries in young athletes. The roundtable came after a Commerce Committee hearing that reviewed the issue of concussions in sports and the marketing of "anti-concussion" or "concussion-reducing" sports equipment to athletes and their parents.