Washington D.C. Rolls Out Program To Assess Concussion In Youth Sports

Wednesday, January 6th 2016, 10:29 am
By: News 9

There's an increased focus on monitoring and preventing concussions in youth sports. Some health professionals are now pushing for a federal mandate for sports injury reporting standards.

Every state has laws on when to report sports injuries, but advocates warn "very few" have enforcement mechanisms in place. 

In our nation’s capital, a team of doctors and industry experts want to change how kids are protected.

Charlie Wund , a youth coach and former football player, has developed a web-based system called "Injure Free." It reports concussion symptoms the moment they happen. The system is part of a half-million-dollar program being rolled out in Washington D.C. to increase reporting, and to provide awareness training for students, parents, and coaches.

"It's about priorities and about funding, we don't have time to wait for every youngster to be injured," said Dr. Gerard Gioia with Children's National Medical Center. 

"You want to understand how you prevent chronic long-term effects and save lives," said Dr. Michael Yochelson with Medstar Hospital.

Since 2009, every state has passed concussion reporting laws. But Congress has yet to create a national registry to help tailor treatment and prevention.

The CDC reports every year more than 170,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for sports or recreation-related brain injuries, including concussions.