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CA concussion Laws

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california concussion safety law

Education Code 49475 became active on January 1st, 2012.  The role of the athletic trainer regarding concussion management has not changed with this new law.  However, athletes and their parent/guardian must sign a concussion and head injury information sheet annually prior to the beginning of the season.  An example of the information sheet as well as policies for concussion management may be found on the CIF website at http://www.cifstate.org/index.php/the-latest-news/concussions.

Education Code 49475, formerly Assembly Bill 25, addresses concussion in high school athletics and was signed into law by the Governor in 2011. The new state law is fundamentally similar to the CIF rule that came into play one year earlier.  It states:

“This bill would require a school district that elects to offer athletic programs to immediately remove from a school-sponsored athletic activity for the remainder of the day an athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury during that activity. The bill would prohibit the return of the athlete to that activity until he or she is evaluated by, and receives written clearance from, a licensed health care provider, as specified. The bill would require, on a yearly basis, a concussion and head injury information sheet to be signed and returned by the athlete and the athlete’s parent or guardian before the athlete’s initiating practice or competition.”

UPDATE: Amendment to California’s Existing Concussion Law [AB 2127 (Cooley)] Effective January 1, 2015

On January 1, 2015 Assembly Bill 2127 will take effect, amending the current language to California’s existing concussion law and Education Code 49475. Assembly Bill 2127 address limitations to full-contact activities in tackle football, concussion management and return to play following concussion or other head injury.

The California legislature asserts that concussions and other head injuries continue to affect thousands of middle and high school aged student athletes annually. They acknowledge that many of these athletes are not afforded the same standard of care that is customary at the collegiate and professional ranks. Thus, as symptoms are so varied and are not necessarily specific to concussions, many injuries go undetected, and often going under-reported as students keep injuries to themselves wishing to continue to compete.

As it stands, Ed Code 49475 requires a middle school or high school district, charter school, or private school that elects to offer athletic programs to immediately remove from a school-sponsored athletic activity for the remainder of the day an athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury during that activity. The bill prohibits the return of the athlete to that activity until he or she is evaluated by, and receives written clearance from, a licensed health care provider, as specified. The bill also requires, annually, a concussion and head injury information sheet to be signed and returned to a school site, by the athlete and the athlete’s parent or guardian before the athlete may begin practice or competition. In addition to the above statute, the new law enacts a mandatory graduated return to play (RTP) protocol of no less than 7 days, in cases where it is determined by the licensed health care professional that the athletes sustained a concussion.

The bill also directs that the RTP shall be carried out under the supervision of a licensed health care professional. This will provide for a gradual increase in exertion, over the period, offering an individual more time to resolve and demonstrate a readiness to return to participation.

This law continues to highlight the need for certified athletic trainers in identifying, managing and monitoring students active in youth sports activities.

For more detailed information on the bill, click here

CIF Concussion Information

Concussion management continues to evolve, and rule changes are an important factor. The CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) and the state of California continue to work together to improve that the health and safety of student-athletes is the primary focus of high school sports. New law provisions in concussion safety include a mandated return-to-play protocol, education, immediate removal from play in case of suspected concussion and no return-to-play without written medical clearance.

What is the CIF Concussion Information Sheet?

Athletes receive the CIF information sheet about concussions because of California state law AB 25 (effective January 1, 2012), now Education Code § 49475:
1. The law requires a student athlete who may have a concussion during a practice or game to be removed from the activity for the remainder of the day.
2. Any athlete removed for this reason must receive a written note from a medical doctor trained in the management of concussion before returning to practice.
3. Before an athlete can start the season and begin practice in a sport, a concussion information sheet must be signed and returned to the school by the athlete and the parent or guardian.

Every 2 years all coaches are required to receive training about concussions (AB 1451), as well as certification in First Aid training, CPR, and AEDs (life-saving electrical devices that can be used during CPR).

 

 

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