Mr. GORDON of Tennessee. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous material on H. Res. 1660, the resolution now under consideration.
Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. [Page: H7184]
Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1347, or the ConTACT Act, will help to reduce the number of concussion-related injuries nationally by improving a school's ability to guide return-to-play decisions and by raising awareness for parents, students, health professionals, and others of the consequences of multiple concussions.
I want to thank Mr. Shimkus and Mr. Barton for their willingness to work on this bill with me and, of course, thank the sponsor of the bill, my colleague from New Jersey (Mr. Pascrell) who has worked so hard on this legislation.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1347, the Concussion Treatment and Care Tools Act seeks to reduce the number of concussions sustained by our young people.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury each year. Some of these are sustained by children while they are playing sports. This bill will help reduce that number.
The bill would require the Centers for Disease Control to develop model guidelines that address the prevention, identification, treatment, and management of concussions in school-age children, including standards for student athletes to return to play after a concussion.
The bill also would direct the secretary to convene a conference of experts to develop the model guidelines. The secretary would be allowed, but not required, to award grants to States to help implement these guidelines. I must also note that the bill would ensure that the Centers for Disease Control uses its existing budget to award these grants if they deem them necessary. It does not create a separate funding source for these grants.
I urge my colleagues to support the bill.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the sponsor of the bill, my colleague from New Jersey (Mr. Pascrell). I just want to say he has worked tirelessly as an advocate for this bill, doing investigations and having a hearing that we held in the State of New Jersey. As you know, he was very aggressive in a very positive way to make sure this bill came to the floor.
Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, as you know, Speaker Pelosi gaveled in the 110th Congress on behalf of America's children. Today I am proud to say the House will consider this bipartisan bill to protect our children in youth sports.
As cochair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force with Congressman Platts from Pennsylvania, I have worked for the last 9 years on the issue of brain injury for our troops, as well as those who are playing sports, all sports, men and women.
Back then, we had no idea how prevalent brain jury would become for our youth. A study published this month in Pediatrics found that between 1997 and 2007, the number of children seeking emergency medical care for concussions doubled.
To address this growing problem for schools, Congressman Todd Platts and I introduced the ConTACT Act, H.R. 1347, to create Federal guidelines on concussion management and a grant program for States to implement these policies.
This bill is dedicated to kids like Ryne Dougherty, a constituent of mine who died after returning to a football game without recovering from a previous concussion, and Niki Popyer, who suffered over 11 concussions from basketball. While we did not have the proper guidelines in place to protect them on the field of play, this bill would create Federal guidelines, not by the Congress but by professionals, to protect other student athletes so they can excel not only in sports but in school.
I want to thank Speaker Pelosi, and I want to thank Majority Leader Hoyer for recognizing the importance of bringing this bill to the floor, and Chairman Waxman and Chairman Pallone for helping this particular bill through the committee process.
I want to thank the organizations that supported the bill, that recognized its value for our citizens: The Brain Injury Association, Easter Seals, the NFL, the NFL Players Association, the Parkinson's Action Network, the National Athletic Trainers Association, the National Association of Head Injury Administrators, the New Jersey Council of General Hospitals, and the American College of Rehabilitation Medicine.
This is a big deal for the kids that are our children, our grandchildren, throughout the United States. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, Mr. Minority Leader.