A new law could protect school athletes

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I am writing in response to Jack Kelly's March 4 article "Study Warns on Hockey Concussions" about high school hockey players returning to play too soon. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the last decade emergency department visits for sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, among children and adolescents increased by 60 percent.

The new evidence-based guidelines on evaluation and management of concussion in sports produced by the American Academy of Neurology state that there is moderate evidence that tests such as neurocognitive testing and balance testing are helpful in monitoring recovery from concussion, such as ImPACT testing. ImPACT testing can be especially useful if a pre-concussion baseline testing is conducted.

The AAN strongly encourages state and local policy makers to implement legislation and regulations to minimize the occurrence of sports-related concussion. As a registered nurse and a graduate student, I would like to show my support for state Senate Bill 74 introduced on Jan. 14, known as the Safety in Youth Sports Act. The new bill discusses how preseason baseline assessments can aid in the recovery process, and multiple other requirements for athletes in the state of Pennsylvania.

Obviously it is a bill we need.




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