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Extending Concussion Safety Laws To Cover All Youth Sports Programs Essential, Says Sharon van Kooten of Indiana

Comprehensive Sources of Concussion Information

Comprehensive on-line sources of concussion information for anyone wishing to learn more about concussions include the following:

Informative videos on concussions can be found on MomsTeam.com 

Concussion Awareness Training

Expansion of Law and Development of Concussion Management Protocols

I appreciate your attention to the important matter of youth sports concussions. The impact of sports concussion and sub-concussive hits on youth athletes is an emerging field. I believe my son's experience highlights the need to (a) expand the coverage of our state concussion law so that it covers all youth athletes, and (b) implement concussion management protocols at all public schools.

At the very least, it is imperative that parents are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about the athletic programs they allow their children to participate in. With our family history of degenerative brain diseases, I really needed to know about the dangers of concussions and sub-concussive hits before signing my son up for football. We owe it to all children to take the steps required to protect them from unnecessary brain trauma in youth sports. I hope our state decides to lead the way with respect to protecting our youngest and arguably most vulnerable athletes.

I've attached copies of email correspondence and doctor notes for informational and background purposes. Please feel free to contact me in writing, by email, or by phone with any questions or requests for additional information.


A Concerned Mom

Editor's Note:  About the author, Sharon van Kooten. On November 30, 2011, Ms. Van Kooten, a stay-at-home mom of three from Trafalgar, Indiana, reached out to us with a simple request; “I was hoping to obtain information regarding any safety limitations for bantam football practices.” As pioneers in concussion information and education, our founder Brooke de Lench and SR Editor Lindsey Barton Straus, JD provided her with countless hours of help and research. Her request was not unlike the thousands we have received over the years. Her letter to her state representatives was the product of several months of research on concussions and, while longer than most MomsTeam receives, is not atypical, and demonstrates that, despite substantial progress, concussion education, awareness, management and prevention still has a long way to go.  It is the author's hope that her letter "can help other parents and also bring about some positive change."  As she said in her cover e-mail to her state legislators, "I strongly believe current research is exposing the need to provide greater protections for all children participating in youth sports, both on the field and in the classroom. My goal is to help prevent unnecessary brain trauma for youth athletes and to facilitate their recovery if such trauma occurs. I appreciate your attention to the important issue of youth sport concussion prevention, recognition and management; including appropriate academic accommodations."

 Ms. Van Kooten has become a prolific and active Twitter user, and since June 2012, she spends many hours a day copying links to articles that have concussion- related news, she has posted over 87,800 tweets (which averages out to 21,950 a year and about 60 a day!). You can follow her on Twitter @ConcernedMom9



Do you need our help? Reach out to us at: editors @MomsTeam.com or for concussion information visit: www.Concussions.Smart-Teams.org

Posted February 18, 2012  Updated November 17, 2016.