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Durbin wants national guidelines for prep sports concussions

Updated: August 30, 2013 1:55AM



With high school footballers across America getting set for a new season, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin was at Lane Tech High School’s stadium Thursday, announcing legislation intended to create a national standard to boost awareness about sports-related concussions.

“As we learn about the long-term effects of some of these injuries, it’s become clear that we have to do more to confront the risk of sports injuries and to make sure students who are going to suffer these injuries have the very best care and the very best response,” Durbin said, flanked by Lane Tech football players and victims of

concussions.

Durbin’s bill — The Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act — would require states to develop concussion safety guidelines for public schools, including posting educational information on school campuses and websites about concussion symptoms, risks and recommended responses. The bill also includes a “when in doubt, sit it out” policy, requiring students with suspected concussions to end participation in the athletic event for the day.

Durbin said Illinois is already a leader in the type of pro-active approach he’s pushing, but he said a national standard is needed to protect the well-being of student athletes across America.

States would have five years after the bill is enacted to issue guidelines to schools, or face the possibility of losing federal funding.

Email: seposito@suntimes.com

Twitter: @stefanoesposito



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