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Concussions and youth football: What happened in Massachusetts is very disturbing

An article in today’s New York Times, “A 5-Concussion Pee Wee Game Leads to Penalties for the Adults” raises very disturbing facts concerning the risk of concussions faced by our nation’s youth.

It is not enough to have fancy regulations about concussion management if coaches, parents and referees are uneducated about the risks of concussion and permanent brain damage or intentionally chose to ignore these risks.

The article points to a Pee Wee, youth football game played in Southbridge, Massachusetts last week where at least five players from one team sustained concussions.  One of the teams was clearly outmatched and play was allowed to continue despite the obvious risk of injury to these young players.

As a result of this dangerous and even life threatening conduct, league officials have suspended the coaches and referees involved for the entire season.  But, until all those with the responsibility of protecting the health of athletes understand that concussions are not just bumps on the head and that there is no such thing as a ‘minor” brain injury, preventable brain injuries will still occur.

Youth sporting activities, even if not school sanctioned, must be made subject to new state laws regulating athletic activity and concussion awareness.  Teams and leagues using school and town athletic fields must be made subject to these new laws .

You can read the full story by clicking here.

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