According to the CDC, an estimated 248,418 children aged 19 or younger were treated in U.S. emergency departments for sports and recreation related injuries that included a diagnosis of concussion or traumatic brain injury. Science is increasingly beginning to realize the severe impacts of brain injuries especially to children and teenagers even if they are not immediately felt or noticed. Public health law is working to reduce the risks of head injuries to young and professional athletes through federal, local and state laws.
To date, every state and the District of Columbia have passed a sports concussion law. This table contains information on state concussion laws, including which states require return-to-play protocols for student athletes, which type of provider can issue a return-to-play clearance, and whether or not the law applies to recreational sports.
With so many kids engaged, youth sports present a unique opportunity for public health to include our youngest generation in valuing and prioritizing health.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia now have some form of youth sports-related TBI law. All of the state laws contain provisions about returning an athlete to the playing field, but only seven states have provisions that adrdress returning an athlete to the classroom after concussion.
To date, every state and the District of Columbia has passed a sports concussion law. Now that many of these laws have been in effect for a few years, legislatures are revisiting them and making changes according to developments in the field.
Information about the risk of concussions in sports is everywhere. In 2009, states rapidly began to pass legislation designed to educate and ensure that athletes do not return to play before a concussion has healed properly.
This infographic paints a picture of youth sports concussion laws.
Baseball season is upon us, and I survey its coming with the same indifference every year. I know this pains my Dad, a lifelong Red Sox fan, but I just can’t get into baseball. I am more of a football and hockey girl, myself. I prefer the raw, hard‑hitting competition of these sports, and if I’m honest, I like the fights, too. But having spent the last few months researching the risks of concussion in sports, I have to acknowledge that my beloved sports are in need of culture change
My 13-year old son suffered a mild concussion in a soccer game recently. He took a few days off of practice, seemed to be fine and went back to the usual routine of soccer and lacrosse several times a week. Am I a bad mom? According to the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), maybe . . .The fact is concussions in youth sports present a serious risk that coaches, parents and athletes do not fully appreciate. Professional sports leagues (NFL, NHL, MLB) and the NCAA recently initiated programs to better assess and treat (mostly through rest) concussions in adult athletes.