Linswritings

State’s looking out for the kids

Posted on: March 31, 2011

Recently, the Colorado Legislature passed Colorado’s Senate Bill 40, a bill that is the nation’s most sweeping concussion law. This law that will go into effect on January 1, 2012, requires coaches to bench players as young as eleven years old when they’re believed to have suffered a head injury and need medical clearance to return to play. The law also requires coaches in public and private schools and even volunteer Little League and Pop Warner football coaches to take free annual training online to recognize the symptoms of a concussion.

A dozen other states have laws addressing youth concussions, but they don’t cover athletes as young as 11, and most deal with school-related athletics, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Connecticut, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Oregon are among the states that have passed laws addressing youth concussions, according to NCSL. Utah signed a bill into law last week, and California and Nebraska are among states with pending legislation.

Concussions in youth sports are receiving more national attention recently as the NFL helps states craft related legislation or endorse local measures. The league’s senior vice president for public policy, Jeff Miller, said the NFL is changing its culture surrounding concussions and player treatment as information emerges about the risks and consequences of head injuries.

Even though this law affects only certain sports, coaches in all sports such as basketball, soccer, lacrosse, etc., should take the training and follow the legislation in order to protect the kids.

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