Last week Ohio joined the long list of states that have passed laws to protect young athletes who sustain concussions.
Gov. John Kasich signed into law rules regarding concussions, which go into effect in 90 days, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. The new legislation mandates that all young athletes statewide must get approval from a physician or other medical expert before resuming active play.
In addition, coaches, referees and other game officials will have to take free, online training on concussions, and the state Department of Health is developing an information sheet about head injuries to give to parents, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
Apparently, Ohio’s new law is very similar to rules established by the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) two years ago, the newspaper said. Those rules forbade players with a possible concussion from returning to their sport until they had clearance from a doctor or trainer. But according to the Akron Beacon Journal, those rules didn’t apply to sports not under OHSAA’s umbrella, such as high school lacrosse. The state law will apply to all youth sports.
Young athletes are especially susceptible to brain damage because their brains are still in a development stage, according to experts.