The Athletic Trainer's Corner
Mr. Michael Spreckels
NY Concussion Law Signed
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill that will require students who may have suffered a concussion in a school sport or Physical Education class to be sidelined for at least 24 hours.
The legislation will prevent students from returning to play/physical activity until they have been without symptoms for at least one day and have been cleared by a physician. It also requires education and training for coaches, teachers and other school personnel on the symptoms and treatment of mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI).
"The guidelines that will be issued under this law will help enable student athletes who experience concussions (to) get prompt treatment, helping avoid the future health problems that often accompany such injuries," Cuomo said in a statement.
"By raising awareness to the risks of mild traumatic brain injuries, we are protecting students across New York and ensuring that their health and safety is our top priority," he added.
The concussion legislation, which will take effect July 1, 2012, seeks to end the practice of having children "play through" their injuries and to raise awareness about the potential harmful effects of head trauma. Concussion symptoms can include memory problems, difficulty concentrating, headaches, dizziness and vomiting. The NFL, which has cracked down on helmet-to-helmet hits, is one of the organizations backing the bill. The league strengthened regulations on removing athletes who suffer concussions from the field. Other groups that support it are the New York State Athletic Trainers' Association and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. The Brain Injury Association of New York State has said the bill is a good "first step" in recognizing the potential harm concussions can cause and raising public awareness.
The legislation will require the state Education and Health departments to develop guidelines for recognizing and monitoring concussions, and protocols for removing students from play and clearing them to return. Those departments and local school districts will have to post information about concussions on their websites and on any consent forms for parents.