Concussion Awareness Bill Signed

Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation raising awareness for youth concussions in Michigan, which has the support of many organizations across the state including the Detroit Lions and the NFL.
Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation raising awareness for youth concussions in Michigan, which has the support of many organizations across the state including the Detroit Lions and the NFL.

Thousands of young people each year are impacted by concussions, which is why I am proud Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed my legislation to protect young athletes.

The laws set guidelines on when an injured child can return to play and create a concussion awareness program that includes training and distributing education materials to coaches, parents and athletes.

A concussion is difficult to identify, so it is critical that coaches and parents can recognize the symptoms and know what steps to take if an injury occurs. Many concussions go unreported, so it is also crucial that we teach our young athletes about the seriousness of brain injuries.

More than 140,000 high school athletes are estimated to suffer a concussion each year, and the National Football League is leading an effort to get similar legislation passed in all 50 states and Congress.

I specifically want to thank Detroit Lions team president Tom Lewand for his leadership and assistance.

While high school football had the highest rate of concussions at 6.94 per 10,000 athletes in school-sponsored activities from 2008-2011, girls’ soccer wasn’t far behind, ranking fourth with a rate of 3.83.

Southwest Michigan Select Soccer Club Coach Tareck Halsey, his son and my daughter all joined me at the bill signing. They are a reminder that youth concussions can occur in a variety of sports and activities.

In fact, accidents while bicycling and playing on the playground rank first and third in the most number of brain injury emergency room visits.

As a father of three children, each involved in multiple sports and activities, my goal remains ensuring that the health of our young athletes is always the top priority.

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Proos’ Concussion Awareness Bill Signed

 

Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation raising awareness for youth concussions in Michigan, which has the support of many organizations across the state including the Detroit Lions and the NFL.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation on Tuesday to protect young athletes by educating coaches of youth sports organizations, including schools, and requiring them to adopt a concussion awareness program, said sponsor Sen. John Proos.

“This is about emphasizing the seriousness of concussions, which impact the lives of thousands of young people each year,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph, in a press release. “We must help inform parents, coaches and athletes about concussions and what is in the athlete’s best interest. A concussion is difficult to identify, so it is critical to ensure athletes understand the gravity of this type of injury and that we set guidelines that err on the side of caution so that a child’s health is always put first.”

Public Acts 342 and 343 of 2012 require the creation of a concussion awareness program that includes training and distribution of educational materials for coaches, parents and athletes. A youth suspected of sustaining a concussion will be required to be immediately removed from activity and would not be able to return until he or she had been evaluated by a health professional and received written clearance to play.

“Research consistently has shown that concussions are a serious health threat to athletes,” Snyder said. “Coaches and parents need to be proactive in recognizing the signs of a concussion so we can protect injured children and teens from any further complications.”

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, more than 140,000 high school athletes are estimated to suffer a concussion each year. Ohio State University data show that high school football has the highest rate of overall concussions at 6.94 per 10,000 athletes participating in school-sponsored activities from 2008-2011, followed by ice hockey at 6.11, boys’ lacrosse at 4.21 and girls’ soccer at 3.83.