In New York legislation, traumatic brain injury prevention is at the center of a new bill. A Republican senator is spearheading an endeavor that focuses on concussion safety.
Concussions can occur to anyone, but according to the senator, they are far more prevalent among student athletes. Although statistics are not yet available to verify the senator’s claim, there is no dispute about the dangers traumatic brain injuries can have on youth.
Because the New York Assembly Education Committee understands the frequency with which athletes suffer concussions, they have already approved the bill.
The bill outlines new ways of protecting students who may have a concussion. After an incident where an athlete could have received a concussion, athletes will be required to be immediately sidelined from the sport and any classes that require physical activity. The sidelining ends when the athlete shows no symptoms for 24 hours and has been authorized by a doctor to continue participating in physical activities.
Many athletes and parents do not understand that the brain needs time to fully recover from a concussion. The new bill protects students from pushing themselves too hard or from getting pushed by coaches or parents.
Beyond these new requirements, the bill also asks that each school district trains their staff and educates its parents and students about the dangers of concussions and these new parameters. Many of the politicians in New York are supporting this bill.
One politician said that the new bill creates a statewide standard which contributes to the safety of student athletes. Organizations such as the New York State Public High School Athletic Association and the Brain Injury Association of New York State have spoken out in favor of the new bill as well.
Source: Wall Street Journal, “NY lawmakers push new student concussion rules,” The Associated Press, 7 June 2011