State Concussion Laws May Soon Cover Students As Young As The 5th Grade
Orig Post fox59.com | Re-Post Duerson Foundation 1/22/16
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (January 21, 2016) — A bill designed to prevent repeated head injuries in athletes as young as the fifth grade continues to advance through the statehouse.
Senate Bill 234 calls for expanding concussion protocol beyond the high school gridiron. Playing under the lights on Friday night can be dangerous, but right now state concussion laws are in place to protect high school football players. The new bill would expand concussion protocol down to the fifth grade and include intramural sports beyond football.
“I would strongly support expanding concussion protocol,” said Dr. Terry Horner, a neurosurgeon and consultant for the Colts and Indiana University.
He told the statehouse committee that expanding the concussion law is important because young kids are more vulnerable to traumatic head injuries.
“We don’t reach brain maturity until the mid-20s, so the more immature we are the greater our chance of having a concussion,” said Horner.
“Going down to the fifth grade and monitoring students is very important,” said Michael Duerson, whose brother, Dave, played in the NFL for the Chicago Bears before committing suicide after suffering concussions during his playing days.
Brother of Late Football Player Who Suffered From CTE Pushes For Changes To Concussion Training
Orig Post www.theindychannel.com | Re-Post Duerson Foundation 2/8/2016
INDIANAPOLIS — Numbers from Mayo Clinic show more than 3 million people suffer from a concussion every year. It’s a traumatic injury that can change the way the brain functions.
Researchers continue to study the long-term impacts of the injury. But there’s concern about the risk for repeated concussions in children.
That’s why an effort is underway to try to prevent the traumatic brain injury among the youngest players in the gym and on the field.
A Noblesville man is spear-heading the effort at the Statehouse, after losing his brother to a disease believed to be directly linked to concussions.
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Dave Duerson was a standout football player in the NFL. He suffered from CTE. And in 2011, he took his own life.
“Losing my brother was really tough. But at age 18, I suffered a concussion playing basketball for IUPUI. It left me with paralysis on one side for 6 months, has affected me more as I get older, psychological and neurological problems,” Michael Duerson said.
Michael Duerson is working closely with Senator Tim Lanane on a proposed change in a law to require all middle and high school coaches of every sport to undergo concussion training.
Four States Enact New Youth Concussion Laws In 2014
In at least four states, the turn of the calendar to 2014 means new laws to better protect young athletes from the dangers of concussions and sport-related brain injuries. That means 49 states now have youth concussion laws in effect, with Mississippi the only holdout.
The laws come at a time when concussion-related injuries in football have become a major concern. But while football players experience about half of the concussions suffered in high school sports each year, the laws will also help athletes in sports like lacrosse, soccer, and gymnastics, where concussion rates are also high, and in all other sports too. At least four states passed laws that took effect January 1 (West Virginia,Arkansas, Montana, and South Carolina also passed laws in 2013 that took effect immediately):
Georgia: Georgia’s Return To Play Act requires coaches to remove players they suspect of suffering a concussion from competition until they are cleared by a doctor. The law also requires all schools, public and private, to provide educational information to parents and athletes about the risks of concussions and mandates that all schools institute concussion management plans.
Oregon: A new law in Oregon requires all youth sports coaches and officials to undergo education that will allow them to recognize the signs of concussions, and requires those coaches to hold any athlete who suffers a concussion out of sports until they receive medical clearance. It applies to all youth athletes, expanding an earlier law that covered only high school athletes. (This is similar to the proposal made to the Indiana Legislature for the 2015 session by the Dave Duerson Athletic Safety Fund, Inc.)
Tennessee: Tennessee’s new law requires all coaches, parents, and athletes to undergo educational training about concussions and requires coaches to remove any athlete from competition who shows signs of a concussion. It applies to all public and private schools as well as to any recreational league for children under 18.
Wisconsin: A new law in Wisconsin expands on an already-existing law and requires schools to distribute educational information about concussions to students each year. Under the law, students will have to sign and return a form to school before they can participate in sports.
The “Zackery Lystedt Law” To Address Concussion Management In Youth Athletics
The Washington law was the first state law to require a “removal and clearance for Return to Play” among youth athletes. Between 2009 and 2012, 42 additional states and the District of Columbia passed similar laws.
In order to assess the implementation of Return to Play laws, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) conducted a case study evaluation on the Return to Play implementation efforts in two states: Washington and Massachusetts. These two states were selected because they were both early adopters of Return to Play and because their laws varied on several important dimensions, including the role of the health department and other stakeholder groups. The evaluation was designed to assess implementation efforts, including related challenges and successes in implementation.
Traumatic Brain Injury Legislation
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a disruption in the normal functioning of the brain due to a bump, blow, jolt or penetrating head injury. Approximately 1.7 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury annually with 52,000 dying. The leading causes of TBI are falls, motor vehicle crashes, being struck by or against objects and assault. While most of these injuries are mild, resulting in a short-term disruption, such as a concussion, many are severe, resulting in prolonged unconsciousness or amnesia and occasionally leading to permanent disability or death. Every year in the United States, TBI is estimated to have direct and indirect costs of $60 billion on top of the emotional burden faced by family and friends of someone who suffers a TBI.
The document below was developed by Dr.Terry G. Horner, M.D. (Colt’s Team Physician and Author of the Academic Accommodations for Concussed Students legislation). Dr. Horner is a part of the IU Health Medical Team which provides ImPACT Testing to/for Indianapolis Public Schools.