A new Ohio law aimed at protecting student athletes after they’ve received a concussion goes into effect today.
Last fall, of the more than 46,000 high school football players in the state, 175 were pulled out of games because they got concussions. Of those, 14 were cleared and sent back into play.
Under the new law, coaches aren’t allowed to send those kids back into the game.
They also must take one of two online courses on concussions before they can get their coaching certificates. Each last less than an hour and reviews information like what the symptoms of a concussion are.
“Getting an understanding of that doesn’t take hours and hours,” says Tim Stried, spokesman for the Ohio High School Athletic Association. “It just takes basically some time to education some folks.”
He says concussions can’t be prevented, but coaches can be better educated about what to do when they inevitably happen. The law “gives a little more weight behind the education that the coaches need to have and also stressing the dangers of it,” Streid says. ”I think any medical professional will tell you that multiple concussions sustained by a student athlete in a short amount of time that could be fatal.”
The law also says parents must sign release forms saying they’ve received information about concussions.
The law applies to anyone working with young athletes, not just school coaches.
There are no repercussions for not following the law.
Still, supporters say it’s a step in the right direction.
Most other states already have similar laws in places.