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Keeping Kids Safe While Playing the Sports They Love

Sep 27, 2017, 10:54 AM

Dr. Elizabeth Pieroth

My kids just headed back to school this week. My third grader and my kindergartener are both looking forward to meeting new friends, getting to know their teachers, and of course, finding time to be active and play. As a neuropsychologist who works with both professional sports teams and young athletes, I meet with concerned families every day. I know that safety is a priority among players, coaches and parents. As a mom, I know that parents want their kids to stay safe while they play the sports they love. Unfortunately, athletes and parents are confused by all of the information available on concussion. From equipment fit to baseline testing, parents are hearing many different messages on concussion assessment and treatment. And they are also concerned about other health issues like dehydration and childhood obesity.

That’s why I’m so glad to be working with the NFL and the PTA on their Back to Sports campaign this fall. This program allows PTAs across the country to bring their communities together to celebrate everything we all love about sports, while also learning ways to help keep our kids safe. Families who attend Back to Sports Nights will learn key health information about concussion signs and symptoms and hydration tips, in an engaging, interactive environment. They’ll also learn about keeping kids active through NFL PLAY 60 activities and, for young football players in the community, about proper tackling through USA Football’s Heads Up Football initiative.

When I joined NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former NFL player LaVar Arrington to speak at the National PTA Convention this summer, I saw firsthand how passionate PTA leaders are about education, about sports and, of course, about the kids in their communities. Back to Sports nights combine those three elements for events that will engage every member of the family.

As you plan your Back to Sports event, be sure to register your event at www.nflevolution.com/backtosports where you’ll have the chance to receive some special giveaways from the NFL.

Enjoy the start of the fall sports season!


The National Football League (NFL) has partnered with National PTA for the Back to Sports initiative, which helps PTAs across the country educate their communities on wellness—from concussion education to NFL PLAY 60 tips on nutrition and staying active. Learn more on National PTA’s website or visit www.nflevolution.com/backtosports.