Concussions in Youth Athletes - Arizona
Governor Brewer signed SB 1521 into law on April 18, 2011. This law can be found at section 15-341(24)(b) of the Arizona Code, under the title dealing with education and the chapter dealing with local governance of schools and the powers and duties of local school districts. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 15-341(24)(b)).
In summary, the law requires the governing board of the school district to prescribe and enforce policies related to the health and safety of students, including developing guidelines and forms about the dangers of concussions and head injuries. The policies must require that before a student participates in the activity the parent/guardian must sign a form once a year stating they are aware of the nature and risks of concussions. The policy must also require that a student suspected of having a concussion must be immediately removed from the activity by a coach, health care provider or parent. A child may return the same day if a health care provider (as defined by the statute) rules out a concussion. Subsequently, a child may return to play only after receiving written clearance from a health care professional. The law also contains immunity provisions for health care providers and for school districts.
This law applies to any group or organization that uses property or facilities owned by a school district. The law does not apply to teams that are based in another state and that participate in an athletic activity in Arizona. The definition of “athletic activity” does not currently include dance, rhythmic gymnastics, competitions or exhibitions of academic skills or knowledge or other similar forms of physical non-contact activities, civic activities or academic activities, whether engaged in for the purposes of competition or recreation.
The official versions of section 15-341(24)(b) is currently available online at: http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/15/00341.htm&Title=15&DocType=ARS
There is no pending legislation to amend § 15-341A (24)(b) at this time.