Montana lawmaker sponsors concussion bill


August 28, 2012

Topic: Injury prevention

A bill in Montana would help protect youth athletes from concussions.

In an effort to protect young sports enthusiasts in Montana, State Senator Anders Blewett is sponsoring the Dylan Steigers' Protection of Youth Athletes Act, as reported by KXLF in Butte. This injury prevention bill contains provisions for concussion education as well as protocols for individuals who sustain this kind of mishap.

"So far, we've had some encouraging feedback," said Tara Ostrowski, head of the Governor's Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Council, quoted by the news source. "But again, it's early. Several of us now in all the participating entities have a lot of work ahead of us to continue to provide the legislators with the education to understand why this is going to be so important to protect our youth."

The new bill is named after a former football player who died from a brain injury sustained during a college scrimmage. If approved, the new law would require that any youth athletes suspected of having a concussion be removed from their sport until cleared by a trained medical professional. Furthermore, schools and youth organizations would have to adopt concussion-related policies and provide educational material to both athletes and their parents.

Every year, more than 173,000 Americans aged 19 or younger visit the emergency room for a traumatic brain injury linked to recreational activities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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