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State Lawmakers Push Sports Safety

February 22nd, 2011 by flanews

Every year, 100-thousand Floridians suffer a traumatic brain Injury. Many of them are high school athletes that feel pressured to get back in the game while still feeling the effects of their injury. As Whitney Ray tells us, state lawmakers want a health official to intervene in cases where high school athletes suffer a blow to the head.

Sixteen year old soccer player David Goldstein is taking his story to the state capitol.

“In January 2010, I had a head to head collision with another soccer player, during the district finals for my school’s soccer team,” said David.

Even though David felt dizzy that day he choose to keep playing; the game was too big, the pressure too great.

“This opportunity comes up and I didn’t want to let it go and I got hurt,” said David.

After collapsing at practice a day later, and passing out at school, David decided to get help. He found out he suffered a brain injury from his injury and his choice to keep playing.

Unfortunately David’s story is all too common. Every year thousands of high school athletes suffer concussions. Many of them never get treated.

The Brain Injury Association of Florida is launching an informational campaign to help parents and athletes better understand the issue. State lawmakers are also pushing guidelines that would leave the decision to get back in the game up to health officials.

“We want to have doctors to be the ones who give the final ok. Not just kind of the coach on the sideline saying go ahead get back in the game. It could be doctors, it could be nurses that are trained in these issues,” said Bill Sponsor Anitere Flores.

The NFL is backing the legislation. The league suffered a loss last week when a former Chicago Bears safety committed suicide. Before he shot himself in the chest he texted loved ones telling them to have his brain examined. He believed his life struggles were brought on by concussions he suffered playing football.

Part of the legislation would require schools to give parents information about traumatic brain injury and have parents give their consent before their children could play high school sports.

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