The Union Recorder

Local News

April 30, 2013

Legislation, local focus target youth concussion risks

Concussion education takes another step forward

MILLEDGEVILLE — Georgia joined 43 other states on Tuesday in passing the “Return to Play Act of 2013” aimed at educating parents and coaches about the risks of youth concussions and placing restrictions on when a young athlete can return after suffering a serious head injury.

The measure requires public and private schools to provide information to parents on concussions and establish certain concussion management and return to play policies. Under the law, any young athlete who exhibits signs of a concussion must be removed from play and evaluated by a health care provider.

Athletes can only return to play only when provided medical clearance.

The bill, effective Jan. 1, 2014, was written in such a way to implement basic protections and give schools flexibility to build their own programs depending on how much funding they can commit. Head injury education lets parents make informed decisions.

John Milledge Academy football head coach J.T. Wall said the school’s current policies mirror the Return to Play Act’s requirements except providing a parental information sheet.

JMA, like many other high schools, has a certified trainer at every game, camp and on call during practices. Wall said coaches know the concussion symptoms but aren’t the right ones to clear a return to play.

“We are equipped to pull a guy out. I don’t think coaches are equipped enough to put a guy back in,” the JMA coach said. “We don’t put a guy back in unless he is cleared by a certified trainer or doctor. I think that protects the kid and the coach as well.”

While the legislation requires public recreation facilities to hand out information sheets to parents during registration, it stops short of the other requirements. Gov. Nathan Deal encouraged those recreational facilities to take the additional steps, when he signed the bill into law last week.

President of Baldwin County Recreation Department youth football Dexter Ricks said providing concussion education for coaches and parents is in the kids’ best interest.

“It’s an awesome sport, but there is some danger that comes along with those rewards. There are some signs parents should be looking for, and by providing this information through the recreation department we may be able to help even if it isn’t football-related,” Ricks said.

USA Football does a great job establishing proper form helping avoid head injury, according to Wall.

“You used to be taught to put your facemask on a guy’s numbers, and that’s just asking for a concussion,” Wall said. “To be good, you still have to be able to block and tackle. You just want to do it the right way.”

Coaches now direct players to see the ball with eyes up and not lead with the head.

“I think this is opening a lot of coaches’ eyes to change the way they coach. You can’t teach a kid to tackle like you did in the 1960s. It’s making some guys evolve as the game is evolving,” Wall said. “Our No. 1 concern now is safety. With the proper equipment and teaching, I think our kids can still play this wonderful game of football and be safe.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

1
Text Only
Local News
Poll
AP Video
House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice