Jon Butler, Executive Director of Pop Warner Little Scholars, participated in the Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit at the White House Thursday.
President Obama said sports are "fundamental to who we are as Americans, and our culture” and the benefits far outweighs the risks of serious brain injury.
Echoing the President’s point, Dr. Dawn Comstock, a leading sports injury research scientist, pointed out that the chances of a serious brain injury are “minuscule” but the dangers of inactivity include increasing childhood obesity and soaring rates of Type II Diabetes.
Jon Butler said, “With an increase in childhood obesity and related health issues that come from a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition, participation in sports has never been more important for our nation’s youth. As the nation’s oldest youth football organization, Pop Warner Little Scholars is focused on making our sport as safe as possible and we have taken a number of steps in this area."
"We rely on our medical advisory committee of neuromedicine and sports medicine physicians for policy recommendations, require athletes receive written clearance from a medical professional to return to play after a head injury and we were the first amateur football organization to limit the amount of contact during practices. We appreciate the President expressing a willingness to support efforts like ours as we use evidence-based information to create safer approaches to our sports. We will continue to participate in the discussion of this topic because the safety of our young athletes is always our top priority."
Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit White House Blog