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ACSM Statement Supporting Signing of Ohio Concussion Bill

by Anne Spencer | Dec 20, 2012
ACSM Statement Supporting Signing of Ohio Concussion Bill

With the signing of House Bill 143 today, Ohio Gov. John Kasich joins State Rep. Michael Stinziano, State Sen. Scott Oelslager and other supporters in giving to millions of youth and families the gift of healthier, safer sports. Based on the seminal Zackery Lystedt Law in Washington State, Ohio’s new law will require that players be removed from play or practice if they show signs of having suffered a concussion and may return only after medical clearance. Importantly, the law also requires that athletes, parents, coaches and referees receive education about concussion so that they will recognize its signs and symptoms and understand the need to take appropriate action.

Ohio joins forty-one other states that already have enacted Lystedt-type laws. With millions of Ohio youth participating in organized athletics, the new law does much to help protect families from the potentially catastrophic consequences of concussion.

Much remains to be done, including training more medical professionals to properly diagnose and manage concussions. Much can be done to prevent concussion through improved tackling techniques and other measures. Brain injuries affect much more than athletics, and student-athletes must have appropriate recovery plans to deal with the cognitive effects of concussion. HB 143 represents a big step in helping young people safely enjoy the many benefits of athletic participation.

ACSM salutes the policy makers and advocates in Ohio for this achievement and calls on those who care about youth athletes in the remaining eight states to quickly enact appropriate laws governing concussion in youth sports.

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NOTE: For a listing of state concussion laws, please click here.

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