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SAFE PLAY Act takes on youth sports injuries

Newly-introduced legislation on the federal level looks to put a dent in the millions of young kids who are treated for sports-related injuries each year.

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Youth sports
Iris Nieves, ThinkStock

The Supporting Athletes, Families and Educators to Protect the Lives of Athletic Youth (SAFE PLAY) Act includes a number of measures aimed at supporting school districts to develop plans, and educating the community on ways to prevent everything from heat exhaustion to concussions.

“It’s something we need to address,” said New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-9), a sponsor of the legislation. “We want our kids to be out there, mixing it up, but we want to make them aware, and their coaches aware, and their parents aware of things they need to in order to protect themselves.”

The act would also take a much closer look at energy drink consumption among students, and the potential side effects.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 3.5 million kids under age 14 receive medical treatment each year for sports injuries, and 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among U.S. children are associated with sports.

“We want to prevent these things from happening,” Pascrell said. “We want to know what to do, how to treat them when they do happen.”

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