In California, lawmakers propose a state bill (AB1647) that will require high school athletes with concussions to obtain medical clearance prior to returning to the playing field. This proposal comes during a time when there is a push towards increasing public awareness about contact sport and football head injuries through education. The proposed bill is co-authored by Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo and Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Hayward. Hayashi also authored AB533 that outlines the addition of concussion training into the first-aid certification requirement for high school football coaches.
The State of Washington leads the way with the country’s strictest guidelines for brain-injured high school football players. In May, Washington state law requires that brain-injured teens obtain a doctor’s note to return to the playing field. In addition, coaches, players and parents must receive head injury education. In Oregon, coaches receive annual concussion training.
The California Brain Injury Association and California Athletic Trainers Association have been involved in the development of these new concussion and brain-injury policies.