NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York City Council has decided to tackle football safety.
A new bill proposes putting doctors on the sidelines at youth games and practices to help prevent and treat concussions, CBS2’s Sonia Rincon reported Friday.
The city’s Public School Athletic League (PSAL) has already taken concussion prevention head-on, thanks to a grant from New York Giants chairman Steve Tisch that covers the cost of putting a doctor or athletic trainer at every single practice for the next season.
“Making sure that we have the best health and safety policy out there, certainly for any large, urban public schools athletic league, is absolutely critical for us, and what the council is doing is absolutely right,” said the Department of Education’s Eric Goldstein.
What City Councilman Stephen Levin of Brooklyn is proposing is requiring a doctor at every youth football game, and a doctor or athletic trainer at any practice involving tackling.
Dr. Joseph Maroon is a neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He testified at the hearing in support of the bill, offering technology that would allow a virtual doctor on the sidelines.
“You have an iPad where you can literally … the doctor can see the patient, can see the athlete and literally with a trainer, even a parent, examine and question and evaluate the patient,” Maroon said.
Dr. Peter Salgo said it’s not just software that would allow doctors to monitor players. There’s hardware available, too, that would make helmets work like data recorders, measuring the impact of every hit.
“For the first time, we can monitor them and tell folks when it’s happened,” Salgo said.
But former Pop Warner League President Lloyd Rodriguez said many teams could not afford the doctor-trainer formula, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.