Claiming that New Jersey will now have the most comprehensive consussion law in the nation, Gov. Chris Christie Tuesday signed the new legislation as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stood by and watched.
The Garden State joined 10 other states that have passed consussion safety and awareness laws, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark. Earlier this year Goodell wrote letters to the governors of states that don’t have concussion laws, uring them to pass such legislation.
New Jersey’s concussion law has several parts. It mandates that student athletes that are suspected of having a concussion be removed immediately from play, and not be allowed to resume activity until an evaluation by a concussion specialist, The Ledger reported.
Under the law, the New Jersey Department of Education must create an interscholastic athletic head-injury safety program. It must be up and running by the 2011-12 school year and teach about concussion symptoms and regulations for athletes to return to the field.
This educational program will have to be taken by school doctors, coaches and trainers. And information about concussions will be also be distributed to athletes’ parents.
In addition, school districts will have to craft a written policy on concussion prevention and treatment, according to The Ledger. That policy will have to be approved by the state Department of Education yearly.
And the education commissioner, helped by the state’s medical sector, “will have a model for schools to follow established by March 31, 2011,” The Ledger reported.
The new law also cracks down on training regarding concussions. Athletic trainers who are licensed by the state will have to complete 24 credits of continuing education, with some relating to concussions, in order to get their license renewed biennially.
And athletic trainers will have to take 75 credits of continuing education every three years to keep their national accreditation.