Concussion Laws in Indiana and Illinois Try to Keep Kids Safer As They Play Football and Other School Sports

January 26th, 2012 by admin

We’ve posted about new research studies that confirm how young kids playing hockey or football or other contact sports at their school can be seriously injured and permanently disabled by brain injuries and concussions.

Slowly but surely, state legislatures are starting to take heed of these research results (and the outcry from parents whose kids have been hurt while playing a sport) and now, Indiana and Illinois have both recently passed state concussion laws.

According to SafeKids.Org, Indiana and Illinois joined 31 other states in passing legislation designed to protect children playing school sports from suffering concussions and permanent brain injuries.

Illinois Concussion Law (Public Act 097-0204)

Under the Illinois Concussion Law, each school board must adopt a concussion policy that conforms to the established guidelines of the Illinois High School Association.

Both the student athlete and the student’s parent must sign a written acknowledgement of the school’s concussion policy.

Before a student athlete can play a sport again after being removed from play because of concussion or suspected concussion, the student has to be checked by a health care provider and that provider must give the student a written clearance to participate in the sporting activity.

Indiana Concussion Law (Indiana Code 20-34-7)

The Indiana Concussion Law tasks the State Department of Education with the dissemination of guidelines, information sheets, and forms detailing the nature and risk of concussions and head injuries to schools which are to distribute the Department’s work to school coaches, student athletes and parents of student athletes.

In Indiana, all high school student athletes and their parents must acknowledge by their signature that they have received the Department of Education’s brain injury and concussion information on a form collected by the student athlete’s coach each year before the student can start his or her first practice.

If there is a suspicion that a student athlete has sustained a head injury or concussion, the student must be removed from play at that time (the time of the suspected injury).  He or she cannot return to the sport until the student has been evaluated by a licensed health care provider trained in head injuries and that health care provider has given him or her a written clearance form to return to play.

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