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October 20, 2014, 6:22 am
970 WMAY News

Durbin Proposals Target Concussions, Energy Drink Use By Kids

Most major sports leagues in the U.S. are in support of Senator Dick Durbin’s bill to impose new rules aimed at protecting student-athletes from the effects of concussions. 


That’s according to a statement from Durbin’s office, which says the NFL, NBA, NHL and NCAA are among the leagues supporting that federal legislation.  Durbin says his bill is modeled after rules already put in place by the Illinois High School Association. 


It requires states to develop safety guidelines related to concussions sustained during athletic events, or face the loss of federal funds. It also imposes a “when in doubt, sit out” policy that requires schools to bench any athlete who shows concussion symptoms for the remainder of the day, at least.


Meanwhile, Durbin and others on Capitol Hill are trying to increase the pressure on energy drink makers to stop marketing tactics that the lawmakers say are aimed at kids. 


A letter from Durbin and the others asks 17 companies to voluntarily regulate themselves and their advertising.  The letter says energy drinks are often promoted at sporting events, concerts, and even SAT prep courses… all with a teenage target audience. 


Durbin says energy drinks pose a health risk to young people… and suggests that if manufacturers don’t adopt different practices on their own, Congress might try to impose new rules.

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