Cochran Firm Ohio Applauds New Ohio Youth Concussion Law

On March 20, 2013, the new Ohio Youth Concussion Law will go into effect. The law was designed to educate parents and professionals on concussions and brian injuries, as well as, the necessary medical attention when a player suffers a concussion.

Ohio-Laws-Youth-Sports-Cochran-Firm-OhioThe new Ohio Youth Concussion Law will require that parents or guardians must sign a concussion information form before a student athlete can play sports; students are to be removed immediately from play if it is suspected they may have suffered a concussion; students will not be able to return to the sport until they have been medically cleared by a health care provider.

Two years ago, most states offered no protective laws regarding youth concussion. Today, only seven states do not have these types of laws. The Cochran Firm Ohio applauds Ohio Gov. John Kasich for signing the youth-concussion legislation into law.

The Ohio Youth Concussion Law closely follows the Lystedt Law, named after a young man who sustained brain injury after he returned to a middle school football game after sustaining a concussion. It comes after a major study found that long-term brain damage could be sustained after playing just a few years of high school football. In fact, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) was found that 68 of the 85 brains examined had CTE. According to the study, 13 of brains belong to people who played high school football suffered at least one mild traumatic brain injury, and 6 of them had CTE.

Where the new Ohio law goes further than Lystedt Law is that it includes not only school sports, but youth sport organizations like Little League and Pop Warner as well. Another important aspect about the law is that it educates players, coaches, and parents about the dangers of head injuries.

What’s more, by educating parents and coaches, our student athletes can be better protected. This is extremely important because students are necessarily thinking about brain injuries. In fact, a recent survey showed less than half the student football players said they were concerned about the effects of a concussion and brain injury. Even more concerning is that while less than 10 percent of the respondents had been diagnosed by a trainer or doctor with a concussion, a full 32 percent had suffered symptoms of concussion at least once in the past two year, but had not sought medical attention or brought it to the attention of their trainers. More than half said they didn’t seek help over their symptoms because they didn’t want to be taken out of play.

Surprisingly, a study conducted by Virginia Tech and Wake Forest found that youth football players, players younger than high school, typically sustain the hardest hits during practice. In fact, 60 percent of the 748 impacts registered with helmet accelerometers on players aged 7 and 8, occurred during practice. The authors of this study recommend that coaches and trainers should cut out “high impact drills that do not replicate the game situations,” and focus more readily on “fundamental skill sets,” for young players.

With the new Youth-Concussion law and the requirements to educate parents and professionals, we should see more of an interest on a players’ well being over the need to be in the game. Players will now have to get medical clearance, instead of no medical attention at all, before going back to the playing field. This in itself should help lower the amount of additional brain injuries or even worse within our sports programs. We all want to see our children succeed in sports, but not at the price of a young persons well being.