NFL HEALTH AND SAFETY UPDATE -- FEBRUARY 5, 2014
Mississippi Passes Youth Concussion Law
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed the Mississippi Youth Concussion Act into law on Jan. 30. Every state in the nation now has a youth sports concussion law.
"Mississippi is pleased to enact Return to Play legislation that will help protect both athletes and coaches," Bryant said. "Sports and athletic activities are an important part of life in Mississippi, and taking the steps outlined in this new policy will ensure a safe environment for children."
The legislation applies to school-sponsored/interscholastic sports in grades 7 through 12, and contains three core principles:
- Concussion education for young athletes and parents
- Immediate removal of an athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion or brain injury
- Mandatory clearance of the athlete by an appropriate health care provider before returning to practice or competition
NFL's Annual Health and Safety News Conference
The NFL released injury data last week as part of a news conference on health and safety, including information on ACL/MLC injuries and concussion rates. The following individuals spoke about injury data, the NFL's commitment to research, the role of the team physician, and advances in the science of head injuries:
- Dr. John York, San Francisco 49ers co-chairman; chairman of the NFL owner's Health and Safety Committee
- Dr. Mitch Berger, chair of the subcommittee on former players and long-term effects of brain and spine injury, NFL Head, Neck & Spine Committee; professor and chairman, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California San Francisco
- Jeff Miller, NFL senior cice president of health & safety policy
A key statistic from the injury data was the 13 percent decline in concussions this season, down to 261 from 288 in 2012.
"Rule changes, culture changes, the enforcement of the rules and the elimination over time of dangerous techniques is leading to a decrease in concussions," said Miller. "All of that said, we're talking about a small sample size, a couple of years. It's an ongoing and important culture change event, and so we're going to continue to analyze it, and I think there's room for continued growth."
-- NFL Commiunications