Senate committee ok’s concussion rules - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

Senate committee OK’s concussion rules

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Some lawmakers want to be sure student athletes with head injuries stay safe.

Senate Bill 340, which would establish guidelines for the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission to regulate head injuries, was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee Feb. 23.

The bill would require the WVSSAC to educate school administrators, athletes and parents about concussions and the risks of head injuries. It also would require student athletes take home an information sheet about concussions every year.

The measure also would require any student athlete to be removed from the practice or game any time he or she suffers a head injury. The student would not be allowed to return to practice until a licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation of concussions gives written authorization.

"Well I think we realize with these tragic events why it's important to evaluate these young people because as I mentioned earlier, all too often, they're often the best player on the team, the team doesn't want to be without them, they want them to go back in the game and play, or they want them to go into the next game and play, and often times they haven't been evaluated," said Sen. Dan Foster, D-Kanawha, who is a physician.

Foster said each year, about two student athletes die from concussions in the United States, and the issue lies more in repeat injuries.

An amendment added to the bill during the committee meeting would also require the WVSSAC to keep records of students who receive concussions so those records could be analyzed for possible rule changes or equipment changes to eliminate or reduce head injuries.

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