Injury Prevention, Safe Sports & Healthy Kids – A Priority for the President
Something near and dear to the heart of Dr. Jeff S. Pierce is injury prevention in youth sports. He sees too many injuries of young athletes in his sports medicine practice at Michigan Sports & Spine Center and is continually trying to find ways to educate parents and train athletes to minimize these injuries. This is what led to his becoming a founding partner in CORE Sports Fitness with Kris Draper, former Detroit Red Wings forward; a training facility dedicated to helping athletes reach their goals with the focus on injury prevention. You can imagine how pleased Dr. Pierce was when the President announced his recent White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summer in May. Although the focus was concussions, this summit brings awareness to the extreme number of youth sports injuries and will hopefully encourage parents and athletes to educate themselves on injury prevention.
Sports are one of the best ways to keep our kids active and healthy, but young people make nearly 250,000 emergency room visits each year with sport or recreation-related brain injuries. As a sports fan and a parent with two young daughters, President Obama believes we need to do more to protect the health and safety of our kids. The President host the first-ever White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit on May 29th to advance research on sports-related youth concussions and raise awareness of steps to prevent, identify and respond to concussions in young people.
The truth is we still do not know enough about the consequences of traumatic brain injuries, where it’s a hard knock on the playing field or head injury sustained by one of our troops serving abroad. Every mother and father, friend and family deserves to know everything we can about the best way to care for our young athletes and veterans and that’s the core focus of today’s White House Summit.
Staying Active and Playing Safe
Each day, hundreds of thousands of young athletes head out to fields, ice rinks and gymnasiums to practice and compete in a wide variety of sports. There is no doubt that sports are a great way for kids and teens to stay healthy, as well as to learn important leadership and team-building skills. At the same time, parents are increasingly concerned about the role of concussions in sports. Concussions can have a serious effect on young, developing brains, and can cause short- and long-term problems affecting how a child thinks, acts, learns, and feels. While most kids and teens with a concussion recover quickly and fully, some will have symptoms that last for days, or even weeks, and a more serious concussion can last longer.
Last fall, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council published a report that found that there are gaps in our concussions research knowledge and that there is a startling lack of data on concussions, especially in youth sports. The report also found that there is still a “culture of resistance” among athletes related to the self-reporting of concussions and the adherence to treatment plans once they experience a concussion.
Advancing the Ball
The President believes that we can and must do better. Raising awareness of and better protecting children and student athletes from concussions, and better identifying and treating them when they do occur, requires a team approach and we must work with the professional sports community, youth sports programs, parents, school administrators, researchers, athletes, coaches, trainers, military service members and other stakeholders to make this effort successful. We all have a role to play in helping to prevent, identify and respond to concussions so that young people can remain active and healthy.
ABOUT MICHIGAN SPORTS & SPINE CENTER:
We’re innovative leaders utilizing cutting-edge technologies such as musculoskeletal ultrasounds, PRP, stem cell treatment, and other innovative procedures. Michigan Sports & Spine Center is committed to resolving your pain, not simply masking it. We treat the whole body, not just the injury, and perform preventative treatment so your injury doesn’t come back. Our studies prove that Michigan Sports & Spine Center has patient success rates much higher than the national average. We treat everyone from high-profile athletes to your neighbor next door. Our primary focus is getting our patients back into the game of life!