DISTRICT 56: Concussions in Youth Athletes

Sunday, March 3
Concussions in Youth Athletes

Many states have enacted laws designed to prevent concussions and protect the health and safety of young athletes. LLB has complied a summary of all currently existing and proposed state laws regarding concussions in youth athletes.

Some state laws are only applicable to school-sponsored athletics or to activities taking place on school-owned property. Other laws are applicable to all youth sports organizations, whether affiliated or not with a school district. It is strongly recommended that local leagues consult with legal counsel in its jurisdiction to determine the applicability of state laws regarding concussions to its program.

Not every state has adopted concussion laws, and not every state’s concussion law is applicable to a LLB program. Nevertheless, in keeping with its focus on protecting the health, safety and welfare of children, LLB strongly encourages all leagues and teams to not only comply with any applicable state laws, but also, to review the information and training materials on concussions which are available free of charge on the Centers For Disease Control website at:

http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/headsup/online_training.html

www.cdc.gov/Concussion

 

More information on how to check out an individual state’s concussion laws can be found by clicking the particular state link below. The information that follows is current up to and including December 15, 2012.

Concussions in Youth Athletes - California

Already existing law found in the Cal Education Code (Cal. Educ. Code Section 35179.1 (c)(6), known as the 1998 California High School Coaching Education and Training Program requires that coaches be certified in CPR and first aid and have a basic understanding of the signs and symptoms of concussions and the appropriate response to concussions. Governor Brown signed AB 25 into law on October 4, 2011, which can be found at sections 38131(6) and 49475 of the Education Code. (Cal. Educ. Code § 38131(6)).

This law provides that if a school district offers an athletic program, any athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion must be removed immediately from the activity for the rest of the day. The student is not permitted to return to activity until cleared in writing by a health care professional. Parents/guardians of any student wishing to participate in an athletic activity are required to annually sign a concussion information sheet before the student can participate. This law also applies to recreational activities taking place on school owned grounds which are not sponsored or part of school run activities.

On January 5, 2012, Assembly Bill (AB) 1449 was introduced and referred to the committee on education, but the full committee hearing was cancelled on March 28, 2012. The proposed legislation would amend Section 49475 of the Education Code, if adopted; however, as currently proposed there would be no significant effect on the law as it presently exists, but would require concussion information to be available on the school district website. No other action has been taken on AB 1449 since going to Committee in March 2012.

The official versions of sections 38131(6) and 49475 are currently available online at:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=edc&group=38001-39000&file=38130-38139

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=edc&group=49001-50000&file=49470-49475

An official updated version of section 35179.1 was not available online.

The text of the AB 1449 bill can be viewed online at:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_1401-1450/ab_1449_bill_20120105_introduced.html