Monday, October 17, 2011

Law Aims to Lessen Harm from Student Athlete Concussions

The new law for student athletes in Texas:
When in doubt, sit them out.
Concussions not only robbed former high school star soccer player Natasha Helmick of her dream to play on the US Olympic soccer team, they also stole her memories. After suffering five concussions in five years, including one that left her temporarily blinded in one eye, Ms. Helmick has difficulty remembering much of her childhood.

When athletes return to the game after a concussion, they risk serious reinjury to their brain that can have lasting effects on their physical and mental abilities. And for teens whose brains are still developing, that risk is even greater. But earlier this school year, Natasha’s law went into effect. The law educates students, their parents, and coaches on the dangers of concussions. Under the law, coaches must remove a student from play if they suspect he or she sustained a concussion, and the student cannot return to their sport until a physician says it is safe.

"Quite simply, I believe this protocol will save lives," bill sponsor Rep. Walter "Four" Price (R-Amarillo) told TMA's Texas Medicine Magazine. "Texas' student athletes deserve better protection."

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