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New Law: Preventing youth concussion harm

Published (7/15/2011)
By Kris Berggren
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A concussion can have harmful, long-lasting effects on some youth who have had more than one, according to medical experts.

Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake) and Sen. Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake) sponsor a new law to boost education and monitoring requirements for adults and young athletes involved in organized sports.

Coaches and youth sports officials must remove athletes from play or practice if they show signs of a concussion or are suspected to have sustained one. The athletes may only return to play if a medical professional experienced in treating concussions determines they are ready.

Organizers of fee-based youth athletics, including cities, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and sports governing bodies organizing school-sponsored sports, must provide all parents, athletes, coaches and officials with Centers for Disease Control information about signs and symptoms of concussion, and protocols if one is suspected. An initial online training with renewal every three years is required for coaches and officials.

The law defines who is an athlete covered under this law, who is a qualified health care provider to make a determination about an athlete’s readiness for play, and the responsibilities of the sports governing body with oversight of the sport or team. Most of the law takes effect Sept. 1, 2011, or at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year.

HF905/ SF612*/CH90

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