Traumatic Brain Injury Legislation
If you’ve been involved in youth athletics over the past few years, you are aware that several states have passed or have legislation pending regarding youth head injury. At least 11 states--Connecticut, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington--have laws that target youth sports-related head injuries. In 2011, 37 states have introduced legislation targeting youth sports-related concussions and there are similar laws in force or under discussion.
The laws require informed consent forms explaining the nature and risk of concussions and head injuries to be signed by a parent or guardian of athletes under age 18. The forms are required not just for school sports, but all sport leagues, summer camps (soccer, hockey, baseball, field hockey, etc.) …including sailing.
It’s incumbent on all of us to check the laws in our own states, but the majority of laws require that a youth who receives a head injury get immediate medical attention, even if they feel they are okay. Parents should be notified immediately whenever a child receives medical attention. In the event that the sailor wishes to compete again, written consent of the consulting physician must be provided. For more details, please visit http://www.ncsl.org/?tabid=18687.