Pennsylvania enacts new concussion law

July 12, 2012

Topic: Injury prevention

A new concussion safety law in Pennsylvania has provisions for both students and athletic coaches.

Several states across the U.S. have passed legislation to promote stronger injury prevention in school athletics in order to protect students from concussions. In July, Pennsylvania enacted Senate Bill 200, also known as the Safety in Youth Sports Act, as reported by local ABC affiliate WYTV.

The bill, which was signed into law in the autumn of 2011, contains provisions for both coaches and athletes. People in the former group are required to undergo annual concussion training, while individuals in the latter group need to be removed from their sport after sustaining a concussion. Students are not allowed to participate again until after they have been cleared by a medical professional.

In order to help assess students' well-being, all athletes must undergo a computerized exam, which, in the event of a concussion, will be compared to evaluations following an injury.

"There's a certain time element where they have to sit out and then they cannot participate until they take their impact test again and see what their measurable brain waves are happening," athletic coach Bill Brest told the news source.

Any coach that does not comply with these rules will face a penalty.

If not treated properly, a concussion may lead to lifelong impairments, including problems with emotional, cognitive and behavioral functions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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