Stories about: legislation

Children’s expert pushes for concussion safety

Asian football playerWhen a child athlete gets a head injury during a game it’s a scary moment for everyone. After the downed player gets back on his or her feet the sense of relief is tangible. And when the still-woozy player jumps right back into position, the support from the sidelines can border on electric. Comments on the player’s “toughness” or abundance of “heart” are often made, sometimes shouted above the applause and cheers of the approving crowd. This attitude is supported in professional sports where concussions are often mentioned in the same breath as “back spasms” in terms of severity.

Yet, the more doctors and researchers learn about concussions the more they realize that players who immediately return to the game after a head injury (and the coaches who sanction it) are engaging in very risky behavior. Brain injuries, including concussions, can cause serious cognitive and neurological damage and can even be fatal. Kids who suffer a concussion are also more vulnerable to suffer a second one, especially if they’re roughed up before the original injury has fully healed. Repeated concussions suffered over the course of a few days or weeks can compound the neurological damage and greatly increase the chance of permanent brain damage or death.

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Massachusetts takes action on school bullying

stockphotopro_14092QRK_two_young_girls_bKids who have fell victim to taunts and ridicule in school may finally be awarded a victory this week as Massachusetts lawmakers hold hearings on nearly a dozen bills that aim to crack down on school bullying.

Bullying, as defined by the American Psychological Association, is an aggressive behavior that’s intended to cause distress or harm, and involves an imbalance of power or strength between the aggressor and the victim.For every child who is or has been bullied, it’s stressful and distracting at best, and frightening, damaging to self-esteem and  physically dangerous at worst.

If you know a child that is being bullied, offer them these tips:

  1. Act brave. Hold your head up and walk by as if you are not afraid of the bully. Bullies often pick on kids they think are weak because they seem like easier targets.
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New rules for young ATV riders may save lives

young girl riding ATVDespite the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that children under 16 not operate All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), many children are still riding them—and getting killed or seriously hurt. Between 1982 and 2006, more than 2,000 children were killed in ATV- and off-road motorcycle accidents. Now lawmakers in Massachusetts have the opportunity to regulate children’s ATV activity.

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