Youth sports in Connecticut got a little safer after the last legislative session thanks to the legislature’s vote on an important concussion education bill.

The Parents Concussion Coalition (“PCC”), consisting of three parent-advocates whose sons have suffered life-changing concussions, is proud to announce that the legislature voted in favor of concussion education for athletes and parents.  It requires Connecticut youth athletic operators to annually make available a concussion information sheet to each youth athlete (ages 7-19) and parent/guardian. This will affect all youth who engage in sports outside of school.

The educational materials will be consistent with the most recent information released by the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding concussions and will include:

(1) The recognition of signs or symptoms of a concussion,

(2) The means of obtaining proper medical treatment for a person suspected of sustaining a concussion,

(3) The nature and risks of concussions, including the danger of continuing to engage in youth athletic activity after sustaining a concussion, and

(4) The proper procedures for allowing a youth athlete who has sustained a concussion to return to athletic activity.

The PCC was advocating for more comprehensive concussion legislation, which would include coach education, remove-from-play and return-to-play policies, informed consent and prevention guidelines.

Many states have stronger concussion legislation for youth recreational sports. The PCC sees this legislation is another important step forward for Connecticut.  Last year, an Act Concerning Concussions in Youth Athletes (PA-14-66) passed unanimously, and provides concussion management rules for interscholastic and intramural based athletes.

It includes the comprehensive measures listed above.  The Parents Concussion Coalition will be back in Hartford next session to continue to advocate for additional measures to better protect Connecticut’s children.

Pippa Bell Ader, Diana Coyne  and  Ann Sherwood are the founders of the Parent Concussion Coalition.

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