“By working as partners, parents, coaches, and athletes can help ensure that the threat of concussions is limited as much as possible,” said Senator Bartolomeo. “Any concussion, regardless of the severity, is still an injury to the brain that can have long-lasting consequences. By improving concussion education, we can greatly reduce the number of young athletes who suffer this injury and lessen their likelihood of a repeat injury.”
The bill, which now awaits a signature on the desk of Governor Dannel P. Malloy, will ensure that parents and athletes are educated on the risks posed by concussions. Currently, Connecticut has one of the best concussion prevention training programs in the country for coaches, but is lacking in education for the athletes at risk and their parents. Research has repeatedly shown that repeat concussion risks decline significantly when athletes and their parents receive adequate training.
Following a concussion, student athletes will now only be able to return to play after establishing that they can safely do so. Athletes who recently suffered a concussion are at greater risk of reinjuring themselves. Informed parents will have to provide proof of health and informed consent before students can reenter the field of play.
Recently, the National Football League (NFL) voiced its support for this new initiative to diminish the threat of concussions in Connecticut. In a letter addressed to Senator Danté Bartolomeo and Representative Diana Urban, her Co-Chair on the Children’s Committee, the NFL commended both lawmakers for their “efforts to expand on Connecticut’s current youth concussion policy. Education and increased awareness are critical to appropriately recognizing and responding to concussions. The provisions included in the amended bill language will increase the awareness of these injuries and will better protect young athletes by ensuring that parents and athletes are adequately educated.”