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Concussion Management and Awareness Act in effect

September 5, 2012

Students in physical education classSchool districts are now required to pay closer attention to how they help athletes and their parents deal with concussions. The Concussion Management and Awareness Act, a New York State law that went into effect on July 1, 2012, requires districts to have a policy in place on how to deal with head injuries.

The law also requires all coaches, physical education teachers, nurses and certified trainers to complete a course approved by the state education department on concussion management every two years.

Any athlete believed to have suffered a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury, must be taken out of the game immediately. They are sidelined for the rest of the game and not allowed to practice or play until they are symptom-free for 24 hours.

A licensed physician then must give written approval before the athlete can practice or play again.

If you have any questions regarding this new law, please contact Athletic Director Doug Murphy at 845-794-8840, ext. 10995.

More Information: Concussion Management and Awareness Act

A new state law — the Concussion Management and Awareness Act — recently went into effect to address concerns about concussions in school sports and other activities. The law is designed to help school personnel recognize, prevent and treat concussions and head injuries.

Q: What do the regulations require schools to do in regard to concussion management?

Monticello softball playerA: The regulations require:

  • A mandated course of instruction for all coaches, physical education teachers, nurses and certified athletic trainers;
  • Schools to provide concussion management information to parents and students, as well as an online link to similar information on the district’s website;
  • A procedure for identifying injured students, with an immediate removal from play for any students even suspected of sustaining a concussion;
  • A return-to-play and return-to-the-classroom protocol to allow students to recover both physically and cognitively;
  • At the district’s discretion, the creation of a Concussion Management Team (CMT) to oversee mandated training, develop the necessary parent information and the best practices for caring for injured students in both the classroom and on the athletic field.

Q: What is the protocol when a student is suspected of having sustained a mild traumatic brain injury or concussion?

A: The law requires immediate removal from activities, including physical education classes, interscholastic sports and other extracurricular activities; the student must be examined by a medical professional as soon as possible after the injury. This includes injuries that take place both inside and outside of school.

Students will not be allowed to return to athletic and other activities until they have been symptom-free for 24 hours and have been evaluated by, and received written and signed authorization from, a licensed physician. For interscholastic athletics, clearance must also come from the school physician. In Monticello CSD, that is Dr. Gill.

Q: What is the definition of a concussion?

A: A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. While most people with a concussion recover quickly and fully, in more severe cases, a concussion can be fatal. Unlike a broken bone, outward signs of concussion often cannot be seen. By learning to identify the symptoms and danger signs, coaches, teachers and other school staff can help keep children safe.

Q: What are the symptoms of a concussion?

A: A Some people will have obvious symptoms of a concussion, such as passing out or forgetting what happened right before the injury. But other people won't. With rest, most people fully recover from a concussion. Some people recover within a few hours, while others take a few weeks to recover. Symptoms of a concussion fit into four main categories:

  • Thinking and Remembering: not thinking clearly, feeling slowed down, not being able to concentrate and/or not being able to remember new information;
  • Physical: headache, fuzzy or blurry vision, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, sensitivity to light or noise, balance problem and feeling tired and/or having no energy;
  • Emotional and Mood: easily upset or angered, sad, nervous or anxious and/or more emotional;
  • Sleep: sleeping more than usual, sleeping less than usual and/or having a hard time falling asleep.
New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Resources

NYSPHSAA Website

NYSPHSAA Concussion Information Sheet: The Invisible Injury (PDF)

NYSPHSAA Concussion Act Awareness Sheet (PDF)

Guidelines for Concussion Management in the School Setting (PDF)

Story Archive

NY State Enacts New Concussion Law

September 19, 2011

Monticello football playersALBANY — Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill that will require students who may have suffered a concussion in a school sport or gym class to be sidelined for at least 24 hours.

The legislation will prevent students from returning to play until they have been without symptoms for at least one day and have been cleared by a physician. It also requires education and training for coaches, teachers and other school personnel on the symptoms and treatment of mild traumatic brain injuries.

"The guidelines that will be issued under this law will help enable student athletes who experience concussions (to) get prompt treatment, helping avoid the future health problems that often accompany such injuries," Cuomo said in a statement. "By raising awareness to the risks of mild traumatic brain injuries we are protecting students across New York and ensuring that their health and safety is our top priority," he added.

The concussion legislation, which will take effect July 1, 2012, seeks to end the practice of having children "play through" their injuries and to raise awareness about the potential harmful effects of head trauma. Concussion symptoms can include memory problems, difficulty concentrating, headaches, dizziness and vomiting.

The NFL, which has cracked down on helmet-to-helmet hits, is one of the organizations backing the bill. The league strengthened regulations on removing athletes who suffer concussions from the field. Other groups that support it are the New York State Athletic Trainers' Association and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. The Brain Injury Association of New York State has said the bill is a good "first step" in recognizing the potential harm concussions can cause and raising public awareness.

The legislation will require the state Education and Health departments to develop guidelines for recognizing and monitoring concussions, and protocols for removing students from play and clearing them to return. Those departments and local school districts will have to post information about concussions on their websites and on any consent forms for parents. For more information on sports concussions, CLICK HERE.

CLICK HERE to view the story about a Phoenix Central School football player who died as a result of a head injury sustained during a game. (10/16/2011)