The number of students suffering concussions during an extracurricular athletic activity is rising at an alarming rate and is impacting many students right here in Southwest Michigan.
To help combat this problem, I have introduced a bill to have Michigan join 28 other states in requiring school boards to establish a wellness policy including guidelines to educate coaches, student athletes and parents about the nature and risk of concussions during athletic activity.
A Brown University study showed that from 1997 to 2007, the number of sports-related concussions among student-athletes ages 13-19 tripled from about 7,000 to 22,000. Doctors now estimate that up to 30,000 sports-related concussions occur in the U.S. every year and many of these types of injuries go unreported.
I sponsored this bill to help ensure that everyone has the concussion information they need to help identify the symptoms – which may prevent catastrophic and permanent brain damage that can occur if an athlete takes another impact.
This reform would also require a school’s wellness policy to include information on proper nutrition and physical activity.
With more than 12 percent of children and 31 percent of adults in Michigan considered obese, our state has become the eighth most overweight state in the nation – costing Michigan’s economy billions of dollars in annual medical expenses.
This legislation is about being proactive to help turn this tide without burdening schools with increased costs. Becoming a healthier Michigan will improve our lives and our economy and it starts with promoting healthy habits in our children.