A groundbreaking law that focuses on youth sports concussion goes into effect in Maryland on July 1. This law requires the State Department of Education to develop policies and educational programs for coaches, school staffs, parents, and athletes to foster the protection of student–athletes from the dangerous effects of concussions.
Sports-related concussion is a serious issue. According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 3,900,000 sports-related and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year. If not treated correctly, a concussion can cause devastating short- and long-term injury to the brain.
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signs the concussion legislation. Seated at the table from left to right: Lieutenant Governor Anthony G. Brown, President of Senate Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., O'Malley and Speaker of the House of Delegates Michael Erin Busch. Also pictured are LifeBridge Health's Mark Huslage (standing, second from the right), Martha Nathanson (standing, fourth from the right) and Kevin Crutchfield, M.D.(directly behind Miller). (Photo Credit: State of Maryland)
LifeBridge Health played a significant role in raising awareness about the importance and need for this legislation. In fact, three employees were present when Governor Martin O’Malley signed the concussion legislation: Kevin Crutchfield, M.D., director of the Comprehensive Sports Concussion Program at The Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute; Martha Nathanson, vice president, Government Relations and Advocacy; and Mark Huslage, coordinator of Brain Injury Programs.
Now that the legislation has been signed, here are some key points to know:
- Any student suspected of incurring a concussion during practice or play on public school and Parks & Recreation lands will be removed from practice or play and returned only after clearance by an appropriately licensed health care professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussions and head injury.
- The Maryland State Department of Education will implement concussion awareness programs for coaches, school personnel, student athletes and their parents/guardians.
- Students and their parents/guardians will sign an acknowledgement of receipt of a concussion information sheet before participating in any sport.
As the fall sports season approaches, LifeBridge Health will continue to raise awareness about this legislation and to educate students, coaches and families in the community about what the legislation means to them. More news will follow in the next couple of months about this concussion legislation.
In this WBAL-AM "Know Your Health" radio clip, Dr. Crutchfield discusses concussions.
To learn more visit the Comprehensive Sports Concussion Program page.
Remember, if you suspect a student of having a concussion, call 410-601-WELL right away.