President Obama Tackles Concussion Safety at the Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit

In the last week of May, President Obama spoke at the White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit and discussed how vital sports are to kids and what can be done to keep kids participating as safely as possible.

In his speech, President Obama discussed the troubling conversations about the risks of concussions that our country’s parents are having. There is a major concern and a lot of uncertainty. “Every season, you’ve got boys and girls who are getting concussions in lacrosse and soccer and wrestling and ice hockey, as well as football,” said the President. “And, in fact, the Center for Disease Control reports that in the most recent data that’s available to us, young people made nearly 250,000 emergency room visits with brain injuries from sports and recreation.”

All 50 states have passed laws requiring concussed athletes to get a medical clearance before they return to play. Checking in USA Hockey has been banned in children younger than 12 years old. In March 2014, the NFL donated $45 million to USA Football for their Heads Up Football program, which emphasizes coach training and player safety.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has spearheaded a public awareness campaign for parents, athletes, coaches and school staff called “Heads Up.” While the number of concussions reported among young athletes has risen over the past decade, one reason is likely because players, coaches, and parents better understand symptoms of these injuries.

The President goes on to talk about the need for better research, better data, better safety equipment, and better protocols. “We’ve got to have every parent and coach and teacher recognize the signs of concussions.  And we need more athletes to understand how important it is to do what we can to prevent injuries and to admit them when they do happen.

The NCAA and the Department of Defense are  teaming up to commit $30 million for concussion education and a study involving up to 37,000 college athletes, which will be the most comprehensive concussion study ever. The NFL is committing $25 million of new funding over the next three years to test strategies like creating health and safety forums for patients, and they’re building on the program piloted by the Chicago Bears to get more trainers at high school games. The NIH is dedicating $16 million of the NFL’s previous donation toward studies and clinical trials to examine the chronic effects of repetitive concussions.

“These efforts are going to make a lot of difference for a lot of people – from soldiers on the battlefield to students out on the football field,” said the President.

Read more about this summit.


Dear friends and clients,

In furtherance of our firms culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can. 

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP