The state’s Senate Health Policy Committee has approved legislation requiring youth sports organizations, including schools, to adopt a concussion awareness program.
Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, sponsored the bill.
“The number of children suffering concussions during organized athletic activity is rising at an alarming rate and is impacting the lives of many young people throughout Michigan and nationwide,” Proos said in a press release. “This program would help everyone involved recognize concussions and brain injuries when they occur and put in place guidelines for when a young athlete can play again after suffering a concussion.”
Under the bill, all organizing entities that offer youth athletics would have to adhere to a concussion awareness program that includes awareness training, distribution of educational materials for parents and athletes and criteria for the removal of a youth from physical activity.
The NFL is leading an effort to get similar legislation passed in all 50 states and by Congress. Detroit Lions team president Tom Lewand testified in support of the bill.
“What the NFL and the Detroit Lions are working to establish is a standard of care across the country, so that youth athletes, coaches and volunteers are knowledgeable enough to recognize the signs of concussion and kids get the medical attention they need to recover before returning to play,” Lewand said in a press release.
The bill also states that a coach, adult volunteer or individual acting on behalf of the organizing entity must immediately remove a youth from physical activity who is suspected of sustaining a concussion. It also states the youth may not return until he or she has been evaluated by a health professional and receives written clearance.
Similar legislation has been introduced in the state House of Representatives.
If approved, Michigan would become the 36th state to pass legislation to require young sport agencies to establish a set of concussion awareness guidelines.