A new concussion law protects students by requiring that they be informed of risks and complete training as a means of preventing the injuries.
In New Jersey, a state law went into effect on July 1. It is aimed at preventing concussions in children, by preventing students from participating in sports unless precautions are taken to give them information or training.
The Committee on Children introduced “An Act Concerning Youth Athletics and Concussions”. The law requires the state Board of Education to work with the state’s Public Health Department in developing a “concussion education plan.” Once the plan is developed, local boards of education would then adopt the plan by using “written materials, online training or videos or in person training”.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a “bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works.” Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth, according to the agency.
The training required by the law would address the signs and symptoms of a concussion; obtaining proper medical treatment for a person suspected of sustaining a concussion; the dangers of concussions and when to allow a student athlete to return to activity; and current best practices in the prevention and treatment of a concussion.
Beginning with the 2015-16 school year, boards of education can prohibit students from participating in a sport if they and their parents don’t complete training through reading material, watching online videos or an in-person meeting.
In addition to providing training, school systems also have to have a plan in place that details when students can return to their respective sports after sustaining a concussion.