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Commerce Committee Passes Youth Sports Concussions Bill

Rockefeller-Udall bill would curb false advertising claims on sports protective gear

Democratic Press Office – (202) 224-8374

Apr 09 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller (D-WV) and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) today released the following statements after the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation passed S. 1014, the Youth Sports Concussions Act. The legislation seeks to protect youth athletes from the dangers of concussions by curbing false advertising claims that sports equipment manufacturers make in order to sell protective gear for sports. Action on S. 1014 coincides with April’s Youth Sports Safety Month, a campaign by STOP Sports Injuries to make sure parents, coaches and athletes are educated on preventing sports injuries in kids. The Rockefeller-Udall bill now awaits action by the full Senate.

“Concussions are a very serious issue for children playing sports, and we should be doing everything to prevent and treat them,” Rockefeller said. “So it’s deeply frustrating that manufacturers are still able to make false promises about the protective qualities of their products, yet there’s no evidence I’ve seen that proves sports equipment is actually protecting youth athletes from concussions – and the Institute of Medicine backs this up. Senator Udall and I have remain committed to this bill that will help athletes, and their parents, fully understand the risks of concussions and other injuries when they use sports equipment.”

“Sports are a fun and healthy part of growing up, but athletes, coaches and parents need accurate and honest information about equipment and safety,” Udall said. “As we continue to look for the best ways to tackle the problem of sports concussions, I am pleased we’re making progress in taking false advertising out of the game. I want to thank Senator Rockefeller for his persistence with this bill as we move closer to its final passage.”

 

Background:

The Youth Sports Concussion Act, as amended in today’s markup, will increase potential penalties for using false injury prevention claims to sell youth sports equipment. S. 1014 is supported by major sports leagues and players associations, high school and college sports associations, pediatricians, scientists, and several consumer groups. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences recently released a report concluding there is little to no medical evidence that youth sports equipment protects against risks of concussions. At Rockefeller and Udall’s urging, the IOM studied how best to protect young athletes from sports-related concussions so parents and coaches can make informed decisions about how to keep athletes safe.

The legislation was introduced after the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing in October 2011 on sports equipment marketing and concussions. During the hearing, it was revealed that sports equipment manufacturers have repeatedly made claims that their equipment “prevents concussions” or “reduce the risk of concussions” without scientific evidence to back those claims.

 

Supporters of The Youth Sports Concussions Act:

  1. American Academy of Neurology
  2. American Academy of Pediatrics
  3. Brain Injury Association of America
  4. Brain Trauma Foundation
  5. Cleveland Clinic
  6. Consumer Federation of America
  7. Consumers Union
  8. Major League Baseball
  9. Major League Baseball Players Association
  10. Major League Soccer
  11. Major League Soccer Players Union
  12. National Association of State Head Injury Administrators
  13. National Athletic Trainers’ Association
  14. National Basketball Association
  15. National Collegiate Athletic Association
  16. National Consumers League
  17. National Federation of State High School Associations
  18. National Football League
  19. National Football League Players Association
  20. National Hockey League
  21. National Hockey League Players’ Association
  22. National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association
  23. National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment
  24. Safe Kids Worldwide
  25. US Lacrosse
  26. US Soccer Federation
  27. USA Hockey
  28. Xenith
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