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Brain injury awareness

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Turning Around Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are on the rise especially in sports and one group is working to reverse that trend.  Fresh off a legislative victory, the Brain Injury Association of Mississippi announced that March 29, 2011 was Brain Injury Awareness Day and March is Brain Injury Awareness Month.

They made the announcement at the State Capitol where on March 21, Governor Haley Barbour signed Senate Bill 2196 into law. Senate Bill 2196 is an ATV safety law designed to protect young drivers and riders of the popular recreational vehicles.

BIA of MS executive director Lee Jenkins said their purpose is to educate people on the dangers of not wearing a helmet.

"What we are trying to do with this law is to protect our kids, at least on public land," Jenkins said.  "This is a first step for the state and we'll be pushing for harder laws in the future."

Namely, having the same restrictions extended to private land riding. The law currently requires that anyone under the age of 15, on public land, has to wear a helmet and take a safety course.

While that remains a goal Jenkins said the primary focus for BIA of MS right now is raising awareness on traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in youth athletics.

BIA of MS cites Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, which calculated 1.6 to 3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions occur in the U.S. each year.

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