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Lawmakers Sponsor Bill to Reduce Sports-Related Injuries

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Kids playing sports is a good thing but what they're using to protect themselves from serious injuries may be worrisome.

With that in mind, two Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday meant to make sure that high school-aged and younger children wear football helmets that meet stringent safety standards to lower the risk of concussions and other injuries.

The Children's Sports Athletic Equipment Safety Act, sponsored by New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall and New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell, would also slap stiffer penalties against equipment manufacturers who make false safety claims about their sports gear.

While today's football helmets are an upgrade from those used generations ago, most only afford maximum protection from a direct hit to the head.  They don't take into account less severe impact or accidents that spin the head and brain.

The other major problem is that helmets aren't usually replaced every year by schools.  Some athletes wear headgear that's over a decade old.

More people aged 15 to 24 suffer traumatic brain injuries from sports than from any cause other than vehicular accidents.  It's believed that there are as many as 3.8 million sports-related concussions annually.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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