It’s the Law: Get to Know Your State’s Youth Sports Concussion Protocol
Don’t expect a concussion cop knocking on your door anytime soon, but concussions have become serious enough to be legislated by every state. Now the obvious question is: Do you know what your state law requires for youth sports, and are you breaking the law?
Each state, and some cities, have established precedent-setting laws very recently. So it’s important to be aware of them, especially this time of the year as we gear up for Fall and Winter sports.
It’s mixed bag, but you can find your state’s concussion laws here. http://usafootball.com/blog/health-and-safety/see-where-your-state-stands-concussion-law
At a minimum, most states require some form of education. This is typically presented on a sheet of paper, where a signature is required to demonstrate the parent, guardian and athlete have read the information.
It’s not much, but it’s a start.
I tip my hat to Katherine Price Snedaker, who has pushed for greater accountability for concussion care on the city level in Norwalk, Connecticut. From a news report — “On April 15, 2015, Norwalk became the first municipality in the country to enact a citywide Youth Concussion Plan governing all sports teams who use city and school fields/gyms. The plan was unanimously approved by the city council and the Norwalk Concussion Guidelines took effect on April 15, 2015, covering the over 6,000 youth players and 800 coaches who were not covered by the state’s concussion law due to a legal loophole.”
Katherine is doing much more, but this example alone could be the precedent needed for cities nationwide to recognize a way to address the concussion health epidemic.
More about Katherine Price Snedaker, LMSW -- PinkConcussions.com, SportsCAPP.com, TheConcussionConference.com, Associate Member, National Sports Concussion Coalition, sportsconcussioncoalition.org, Chair of the Technology Work Group, Member of the Advisory Council, Protecting Athletes and Sports Safety Initiative, National Council on Youth Sports Safety, Inc., youthsportssafety.org