Youth Concussion Summit: White House Hosts First-Ever Conference

Thursday, 29 May 2014 01:50 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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The White House hosted what it called the "first-ever" youth summit on concussions Thursday in hopes of stemming the tide of head injuries in sports.

Organizers said the White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit sought to move along research on sports head injuries and begin to recognize steps that could identify, respond to, and prevent concussions in young people, according to a White House statement.

"Sports are one of the best ways to keep our kids active and healthy, but young people make nearly 250,000 emergency room visits each year with sport or recreation-related brain injuries," the statement read. "As a sports fan and a parent with two young daughters, President Obama believes we need to do more to protect the health and safety of our kids."

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The White House also recently announced financial commitments of $30 million in a joint research effort between the NCAA and Defense Department and an NFL commitment of $25 million over the next three years to promote youth sports safety, The Associated Press reported.

"That's what today is about — is to give parents the information they need to help their kids compete safely," Obama said during his opening remarks at the summit. "Let's keep encouraging our kids to get out there and play sports that they love, and doing it the right way. That's not a job just for parents, but it's a job for all of us. And that's why the public-private partnerships like these are important."

The National Institutes of Health will soon host a project that will examine the effects of repetitive concussions, thanks to a $16 million NFL donation. UCLA, with $10 million from New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch, will also soon launch a study on concussion prevention, outreach, research, and treatment with a special emphasis on youth sports, according to the AP.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on a suggestion from the Institute of Medicine, will also soon start and run a system that examines the risks of concussions in youth sports.

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