Concussion law protects our youth

Published 11:57 am Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The human brain is simply amazing, an organic machine scientists have still only scratched the surface of when it comes to understanding how it works.

That makes concussions and other brain injuries very dangerous and nothing to be swept under the rug. Yet in the world of sports — from the highest level right down to youth leagues — athletes are often challenged to fight through injuries and pretend like they never happened.

With that in mind, we are in full support of House Bill 241, a proposed law that essentially says student-athletes in Kentucky’s public schools who suffer a concussion cannot return to the field or court until they have written consent from a physician.

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The legislation now goes to the full Senate, and we hope to see quick approval to something so basic to protecting our student athletes.

State law already mandates students who may have suffered a concussion must be removed from the game immediately, but this law would tighten the restrictions about returning to play until it is fully determined there are no health risks.

The NFL and other professional sports leagues continue to struggle with understanding exactly how prolonged competition and head impact affects the brain. Virtually all medical experts agree brain injuries are nothing to be overlooked or underestimated.

We should take no chances in youth sports.

House Bill 241 simply falls under the realm of common sense legislation and protecting our youth.

It would be safe to call it a “no-brainer,” but that might understate the importance of protecting our most vital organ.