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From the Trainer’s Room: Know the details of the new concussion law in California

 

cp head shot 2016A new concussion law in California was enacted on Jan. 1, 2017 – an amendment of a previous law that covered high school athletes that now covers all athletes under the age of 18.

The purpose is to provide specific safety protocols to protect athletes from injury.

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“This bill places California at the forefront of improving concussion management at the youth sports level,” said Mike Chisar of the California Athletic Trainers Association. “It will help ensure the appropriate steps are taken so our coaches, parents and athletes are educated on the signs and symptoms of concussion, and help minimize the risk of serious injury.”

The new law aims at making sports safer by using education and preparation in regards to the signs and symptoms of concussion, as well as proper management and return to play protocols.

The bill states that educational material must be provided to all athletes, coaches and parents on a yearly basis. This material must include: head injuries and their potential consequences, signs and symptoms of a concussion, best practices for removing an athlete after a suspected head injury, and steps for returning an athlete to school and athletic activity after a suspected concussion.

Currently in California, an athlete suspected of having a concussion must be removed from play for the rest of the day or until evaluated by a licensed health care provider and may not return to athletic activity until they receive written clearance by a licensed health care provider.

If an athlete is diagnosed with a concussion, he or she must go through a graduated return to play protocol of no less than seven days under the supervision of a licensed health care provider. The gradual return is a step-by-step process to ensure a safe return and starts with light aerobic exercise progressing through sport specific exercises under the guidance of qualified personnel.

For more information on the law, go online and search “Assembly Bill 2007.”

Chris Phillips ATC, CSCS, is a former athletic trainer in the NHL with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Washington Capitals and currently owns Compete Sports Performance and Rehab.