Medical Clearance after Concussion:
IT’S THE LAW!!!
In 2014, the Connecticut General Assembly passed Public Act No. 14-66,
“An Act Concerning Youth Athletics and Concussions”
This act, which has been signed into law, requires that boards of education develop Concussion Education Plans that address the following:
- Recognizing signs and symptoms of concussion
- Obtaining proper medical evaluation/treatment for individuals suspected of having concussion
- Nature and risks of concussion, and the danger of “continuing to play” after sustaining a concussion
- Proper procedures that must be followed prior to allowing a student who has sustained a concussion to return to athletic activity
- Current best practices for preventing and treating concussions
- Additionally, every parent and student must sign a consent form after reviewing the concussion education plan
The law also stipulates that coaches MUST immediately remove from all sports activity any student who:
Sec. 2. (a) (1) (A): …is observed to exhibit signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion following an observed or suspected blow to the head or body, or (B) is diagnosed with a concussion, regardless of when such concussion may have occurred.
- Upon such removal, a qualified school employee…shall notify the student athlete’s parent or legal guardian that the student athlete has exhibited such signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion or has been diagnosed with a concussion…not later than twenty-four hours after such removal and shall make a reasonable effort to provide such notification immediately after such removal.
RETURNING TO SPORTS AFTER CONCUSSION
Sec. 2. (a) (2): The coach shall not permit such student athlete to participate in any supervised team activities involving physical exertion, including, but not limited to, practices, games or competitions, until such student athlete receives written clearance to participate in such supervised team activities involving physical exertion from a licensed health care professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussions.
Sec. 2. (a) (3): Following clearance pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection, the coach shall not permit such student athlete to participate in any full, unrestricted supervised team activities without limitations on contact or physical exertion, including, but not limited to, practices, games or competitions, until such student athlete (A) no longer exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion at rest or with exertion, and (B) receives written clearance to participate in such full, unrestricted supervised team activities from a licensed health care professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussions.
(b) The State Board of Education may revoke the coaching permit, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (i) of section 10-145b, of any coach found to be in violation of this section.
(c) For purposes of this section, “licensed health care professional” means a physician licensed pursuant to chapter 370, a physician assistant licensed pursuant to chapter 370, an advanced practice registered nurse licensed pursuant to chapter 378 or an athletic trainer licensed pursuant to chapter 375a (in collaboration with a physician or working under a physician’s standing orders).