BALTIMORE — Members of the Baltimore City Council want to add an extra layer of protection to youth football players.
The council introduced a bill that would require emergency medical assistance to be readily available at youth football games.
Bill 22-0241 is aimed to protect the well-being of youth football players.
It follows another bill, passed by the state legislators, called the Elijah Gorham Act, named after a Mervo High School football player, who passed away from a football injury.
With this, starting July 1, 2022, the Elijah Gorham Act requires all Maryland's public middle and high schools to develop an emergency action plan for sports-related injury.
Now, Baltimore City Council is looking to do the same for youth football players.
According to the National Institute of Health, sport-related injuries are the leading cause of injury among children.
So, this bill could be a life-saving measure.
City schools already have this implemented for contact sports like football and lacrosse, and they say not just athletes benefit from it.
"Our first thought is for participating athletes, but we used medical professionals for spectators, so everybody in that environment is safe," said Tiffany Bryd, Coordinator of Athletics for Baltimore City Schools. "We believe it is beneficial when they're there for all parties."
"It shows City Council is really being proactive in protecting our youth in the City of Baltimore," added Quinton Matthews, Athletic Director of Baltimore Recreation and Parks.
Medical experts recommend football players always wear the proper gear, even during practice, especially padded neck rolls that can help protect players from injury.
City Council has not yet set a date to vote on the bill.