New Bill Would Require Physician’s Approval To Return From Concussion

May 22, 2013 / Hockey
The State

A high school athlete who suffers a concussion will have to get approval from a physician before returning to sports activities, according to a bill being considered by the state Senate.

The bill, H.3061, has passed the House, but it was amended by a Senate committee. If the full Senate approves the bill, the House must approve the amended version before it goes to Gov. Nikki Haley.

The bill has the backing of the S.C. Medical Association, the S.C. Athletic Trainers’ Association and the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina, all of which contributed to its content.

“All of the players have done a fantastic job of listening to us on this,” said Craig Clark, head athletics trainer at Furman University and president-elect of the state athletics trainers association. “It’s going to help take care of the athletes in South Carolina.”

Concussions have drawn more scrutiny in recent years as researchers have detailed an increase in the diagnosis of traumatic brain injuries among all athletes — from the National Football League to high school players. While football gets the most attention, concussions are common among basketball, hockey and soccer players.

The bill requires the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Services to work with the state Department of Education to create specific concussion guidelines and procedures for schools to follow. Those will be posted on the DHEC website, and all coaches, athletes and parents must be given a handout each year detailing the concussion guidelines.

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