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Concussion Awareness Bill

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins
By Corey Martinez

Legislature of Pennsylvania has recently passed a bill in an effort to increase the awareness of proper concussion treatment and prevention. The act aims to establish standards for managing concussions, and will take effect starting on July 1, 2012.

With the number of brain injuries increasing, it is important for those who get injured to receive proper care. With this bill in effect, all those involved in a school-sponsored sport must be aware of the severity of concussions. Educational guidelines must be distributed to each participant and their guardians in addition to each player signed an information document prior to the start of every school year, effectively making the athlete is aware of the risks involved. The bill states that an optional meeting will be held and will serve as an informational session prior to the start of the season.

This bill also determines standards for safety, regarding when an athlete may return to play after a concussion. Section (d) of the bill reads, “The coach shall not return a student to participation until the student is evaluated and cleared for return to participation in writing by an appropriate medical professional.” During the school year, coaches must attend a mandatory training course and penalties will be given for any violation of the act.

Section (e) of this act requires all coaches to complete a Training course once each school year, a coach shall complete the concussion management certification training course offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Federation of State High School Associations or another provider approved by the Department of Health. A coach shall not coach an athletic activity until the coach completes the training course.

Taking effect next month, this safety precaution will help boost awareness of concussion treatment and prevent incorrect treatment in the future. For a complete review of the Safety in Youth Sports Act, please click here.
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