Concussion Legislation and School Sports
Some fall sports have already gotten underway, while others will soon follow suit. With any sport comes a degree of risk, so it’s important for schools to monitor new developments in legislation regarding student-athlete health. Concussion awareness and education top the list of frequently discussed topics for athletics. Not too long ago, we even chimed in on the subject with a research paper.
Regulations around concussion management are constantly changing. Most recently, a new bill took effect in Nassau County, New York. In July, the “Concussion Management and Awareness Act” became law. Aiming to prevent concussions that could lead to more traumatic brain injuries, the “law requires coaches, physical education teachers and other appropriate school personnel to be trained about the symptoms of mild traumatic brain injuries and the importance of proper medical treatment.”
The State Education Department, Department of Health, and individual school districts are also required to provide information to parents and students via the web about how brain injuries occur and how to spot the symptoms of a concussion. The information must include guidelines for returning to school, PE classes, and sports activities, and must also appear on the permission and consent forms that require signatures prior to sports participation. Finally, the law states that any student who suffers a concussion should immediately be removed from the activity. The student then may not return to the sport without the authorization of a licensed physician and until they are symptom free for a period of at least 24 hours.
These requirements are not uncommon in new concussion legislation, though there are variations from state to state. Learn about the legislation in your state to ensure both your students and your school are fully prepared and protected.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: