Maine Lawmakers Aim To Protect Athletes From Head Injuries
http://www.sunjournal.com/news/maine/2013/04/23/l-lawmakers-sponsor-bill-head-injury-prevention-sc/1352618A pair of local lawmakers, both former fire chiefs, are supporting a bill that aims to protect school athletes from head injuries.
The bill, LD 1241, sponsored by Rep. Michel Lajoie, D-Lewiston, was heard before the Legislature’s Educational and Cultural Affairs Committee on Tuesday.
The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Wayne Werts, D-Auburn, requires students from elementary school to high school to wear protective headgear while participating in most contact sports, including lacrosse, field hockey, snowboarding and skiing, starting in the 2014-15 school year.
Lajoie is the former fire chief in Lewiston and Werts is the former fire chief in Auburn. Werts also has more than 33 years of experience as a paramedic and is a former member of the Maine Emergency Medical Services Board.
The bill also requires Maine’s commissioner of education to create a working group to study head injuries of lacrosse and field hockey players and determine what other measures might be needed to prevent them in those sports.
“Sports-related injuries have the potential to be life-changing and debilitating,” Lajoie said in a prepared statement. “These students are at an important age for brain development and we ought to take steps that would prevent head injuries.”