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California Mandates Concussion Education For High School Coaches

California has moved to strengthen its youth sports concussion safety law by adding training on concussions to the first aid certification required of all California high school coaches. Football coach instructing players on sideline

"I would like to thank Governor [Jerry Brown] for signing [AB 1451] and taking California another step forward in protecting the health of our student athletes," stated Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, the bill's sponsor. 

"Because kids still believe they need to be tough and play through injuries, it's critical that coaches have the training to recognize concussions and take players out of the game as soon as possible."

AB 1451 strengthens existing law by adding concussion education to the required first aid training of every high school sports coach. Coaches will learn the basic signs and symptoms of concussions and the appropriate response.

California enacted a strong concussion safety law in 2011 when Brown signed Hayashi's groundbreaking concussion bill, AB 25. The law requires a school district to immediately remove an athlete from a school-sponsored athletic activity if he or she is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury. Students are prohibited from returning to play until he or she is evaluated by, and receives written clearance from, a licensed health care provider.  The Golden State is one of 40 states with such laws.

Injuries can happen with any sport. These bills address concerns about players returning to the game too soon after a concussion, which places them at greater risk for life-threatening complications. A 2009 study showed that 41 percent of high school athletes who suffered a concussion return to play too soon. 

Many concussion experts, including MomsTEAM's sports concussion neuropsychologist, Rosemarie Scolaro Moser, PhD, head of the Sports Concussion Institute of New Jersey and a member of the expert panel tabbed by the Centers for Disease Control to draft comprehensive concussion evaluation and management guidelines, recommend that youth players take a minimum of three weeks before returning to play. 

Without proper diagnosis and injury management, concussions can lead to a wide-range of short and long-term issues, including sleep disorders, memory loss, and depression.

Source: PR Newswire

Posted August 19, 2012