This week, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a youth concussions bill into law, joining several other states that have already enacted similar legislation to protect young athletes.
The new legislation requires coaches to remove any athlete suspected of having a concussion from play and allow them to return only after the athlete has been cleared by a medical professional. The law also requires the Michigan Department of Community Health to create educational materials and training programs for coaches and parents related to concussions.
This new legislation is in line with the perspectives expressed by parents of young athletes in a 2010 National Poll on Children’s Health Report. A large majority of parents (84%) said they would strongly support a requirement that athletes be cleared by a doctor after a concussion before being allowed to return to play. Additionally, 81% of these parents said they would strongly support requiring coaches to receive information about the risks of concussions. For more information, read the full report: Concussions in school sports: parents ill-prepared for role in reducing kid’s risks.
When a child experiences a concussion, it is very important that their brain has the time needed to fully heal. Research has shown that if a repeat concussion occurs before a child has fully healed, there is an increased risk of long-term neurologic effects. The results of this NPCH Report showed that parents across the country are on board with increased requirements to safeguard their children from concussions. For parents in Michigan, those wishes are now a reality.