As the concern about sports-related concussions continues to rise, new helmets, mouth guards and other protective equipment flood the market claiming to reduce the risk of brain injury.
Unfortunately, most lack the research to support their claims – yet continue to advertise as such.
Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. joined U.S. Senators Tom Udall, Amy Klobuchar, Richard Blumenthal, and U.S. Representative Tom Rooney to propose a piece of legislation protecting young athletes from sports-related concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.
The group sponsors the Youth Sports Concussion Act to establish safety standards that protective sports equipment must meet. The bill also includes measures to curb false advertising claims made by those manufacturers to increase sales.
This category currently receives little oversight from government agencies.
Back in 2012 the Federal Trade Commission issued a warning to nearly twenty equipment manufacturers that their concussion prevention claims might be deceptive, but the warnings were not enough to deter manufacturers.
The Youth Sports Concussions Act would empower the Federal Trade Commission, along with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, to level civil penalties against companies that falsely advertise their safety effectiveness.
A similar version of this legislation was approved by a Senate committee in 2014, but the bill never received a vote in the full chamber.
Senator Udall believes that the increased awareness about concussions, paired with the new findings about the degenerative brain disease CTE in football players, could help this bill gain more serious consideration in Congress this time around.
“Our youngest athletes – our future sports heroes – deserve truthful and accurate information to make informed decisions so that the sports they play today can be sports they play for a lifetime.” – Senator Blumenthal