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VIDEO Sport Safety International Executive Director Dr. Robb Rehberg, appears on Rep. Pascrell’s “To the Point”

U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), founder and co-chair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, today released the latest installment of  “To the Point” entitled “Fair Play: Protecting our student athletes from sports-related concussions”, in which he discusses the dangers of concussions in youth sports and how we can better protect our youngest athletes on the playing field. 

Guests include Niki Popyer, a former high school athlete from Marlboro, NJ who sustained multiple sports-related concussions; Dr. Robb Rehberg, Executive Director of Sport Safety International, and; Dr. Seth Stoller, Neurology Chief for the Concussion Center at the Atlantic Neuroscience Institute at Overlook Hospital in Summit. Watch the Video

Heading off danger: Concussions and teens

It’s a hot July afternoon, just before a thunderstorm. The Bonnette family is in the living room next to a fan, discussing schedules. 17-year-old Giuliana Bonnette plays the right side position for the varsity volleyball team at Dominion High School in Sterling. She is now recovered from two concussions she suffered in the spring.

“It started out as just a really bad headache, and a little bit of confusion,” Bonnette said.

These were Giuliana Bonnette’s symptoms after her first concussion 6 months ago. Her head slammed against the ground during volleyball tryouts. It was first diagnosed as whiplash.

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Reps. Pascrell, Rooney Urge FIFA to Address Concussion Safety Lawmakers cite dangerous collisions in Would Cup as need for concussion protocols

On Tuesday, U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and Thomas J. Rooney (R-FL), co-chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, wrote to Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) President Joseph Blatter urging FIFA to implement protocols that would better protect its athletes from the dangers of traumatic brain injuries. The dangers of sports-related concussion were on full display during this year’s World Cup, where several players were left in obvious pain and allowed to return to play almost immediately after receiving blows to the head.

“We strongly urge you to take action to adequately address TBI in your organization,” the lawmakers wrote. “We witnessed the immediate effects of head injuries during this World Cup, but the long-term implications are rarely broadcast on international television. Most importantly, we encourage FIFA to set a positive example for young fans who aim to emulate their favorite players. If young fans see their favorite players treat head injuries with such little regard, they too will not treat head injuries with the gravity they deserve. Every concussion is brain damage and must be diagnosed and treated by appropriate medical personnel, who prioritize players’ health, safety, and well-being.”

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School Sports: Five Myths About Concussions

Although most people have a general idea of what concussions are, there are still some myths surrounding the injury. 

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NFL Releases New Study On Dangers Of Concussions In Youth Soccer

Stressing a responsibility to educate the public on the risks involved with participating in the sport, the NFL released a groundbreaking new study Thursday revealing the high risk of concussions in youth soccer.

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Soccer Concussions Are More Frequent Than You Think

In addition to the many enduring memories of great performances from this year’s World Cup, a slew of head injuries will linger as well. Brazilian star Neymar is going to miss the rest of the tournament with a broken vertebra, sparking complaints that FIFA has encouraged referees to be more lenient about dangerous play. Yellow and red cards have been handed out at the lowest levels since 1986.

This purported attempt to speed up play may have tragic consequences. Soccer is already one of the most dangerous sports—more dangerous than you might expect, according to a wide variety of data, especially in terms of concussions.

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Pennsylvania school bans heading in soccer over concussion concerns

As President Barack Obama held a summit on the dangers of concussions, particularly in youth sports, a Pennsylvania school made the momentous decision to ban heading by its young soccer players.

In coordination with leading experts in the field, Bryn Mawr (Pa.) Shipley School administrators made the decision to outlaw a practice that has long been a staple of the most popular sport in the world, citing an increased amount of evidence that shows repeated heading of a soccer ball can cause lasting effects.

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Concussion Rates Double Among High School Athletes

The rate of concussions in U.S. high school athletes more than doubled between 2005 and 2012, new research shows.

The trend probably reflects an increased awareness and more legislation governing concussions in student athletes, and not more danger in sports, the study authors noted.

“The bottom line is that rates have gone up,” said lead researcher Dr. Joseph Rosenthal, an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Ohio State University. “We don’t know the exact reason. This was an observational study, so I can’t say for sure, but I believe what is explaining the increase is the increased awareness, not that sports are more dangerous. It’s just that the concussions are being recognized more, which is good news.”

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Soccer ‘headers’ and concussions: Riskier than we thought?

Soccer players have always been assured that heading the ball — redirecting it by having it bounce off the head — is harmless when done correctly.

But brain researchers say the practice needs to be studied more to determine it’s a true risk for concussion.

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Does Your Kid Have a Concussion? Tips for Parents

A concussion is an invisible injury that can not be seen by MRI, CAT scan or X-rays. A concussion can affect the way a person thinks, feels and remembers things. Someone with a concussion can be sensitive to loud and repetitive noises and bright noises. It can make a person sleepy, emotional, distracted, moody and forgetful and it can be caused by a hit to the head or whiplash or anything that causes a sharp jarring to the head.

Because it can’t be diagnosed by X-ray, doctors diagnose it by asking questions and getting patients to do simple physical activities — my son had to touch his nose and then touch the doctor’s hand over and over.

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