Iowa lawmakers take aim at concussions in sports

February 2, 2017 / FootballLacrosseSoccerSports MedicineWrestling
Iowa legislators have introduced a bill that would require schools to have health care professionals on the sidelines during all contact sports.

The bill is currently at the committee level, and it’s unclear how much support it has within the legislature. State Rep. Timi Brown-Powers told The Des Moines Register she supports the bill, having witnessed coaches put her son back into a hockey game after suffering a head injury. She said he later didn’t even recall playing the last part of the game.

From the article:

All three members of the panel agreed they would like to advance the legislation, House File 17, but they plan to make some amendments before sending it on to a full committee.

In an effort to address issues among rural school districts, which have access to fewer health care professionals, legislators said they’d like to expand the types of providers who would qualify to serve on the sidelines. Groups representing chiropractors and physical therapists, for example, told legislators they would be qualified to serve in that capacity.

Clint Lutterman, a physical therapist from Perry, already provides sideline coverage for high school sports. He said he thinks it’s important to have someone other than a coach making the call about when it’s appropriate to pull a player from the game.

There are concerns over cost, but lawmakers indicated they would examine ways to address those issues, especially among smaller schools that lack adequate funding. 

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