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New date set for Vernon Hills concussion forum

Carol Sente

Carol Sente

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Updated: November 15, 2013 1:37PM

VERNON HILLS — After a Mundelein Review article generated a strong response, organizers are rescheduling a Vernon Hills forum on preventing football head injuries.

To accommodate more people, the Feb. 11 forum will now happen from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25 in the auditorium of Vernon Hills High School, 145 Lakeview Parkway.

State Rep. Carol Sente, D-Vernon Hills, who is organizing the forum, said her office received many calls from interested constituents who read the Jan. 31 article and space quickly became an issue.

The article also highlighted Sente’s efforts to introduce House Bill 1205, which would limit high school and middle school football programs to only one full-contact practice per week.

The idea came from a constituent who is a neurologist with research on head-related injuries in football. The man called Sente after his research indicated that most head injuries, not just concussions, occur during practice and sometimes go unnoticed.

Opinions and viewpoints expressed during the forum will help Sente decide how she’d like to lobby for the bill, if at all.

Illinois legislators did pass a law in 2011 requiring schools to remove student athletes who have or appear to have concussion-related symptoms, stipulating that only a licensed doctor can then clear the athlete to return.

“While that bill was a strong starting point, I believe there is much more we need to do to prevent temporary and permanent brain injuries in our young athletes,” Sente said in a prepared statement. “Professional and college football teams are implementing policies to limit full contact practice as evidence mounts that even small, non-concussive hits are having long lasting effects.

“It is time we reconsider what type of practice is more tradition versus necessity to prepare for the weekend game,” she added.

Reservations are not required, but Sente encourages it so her staff can better prepare for the forum. Residents of the 59th district can call (847) 478-9909 and indicate if they’d like to attend, ask a question or provide testimony.

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