Concussions in Youth Athletes - Arkansas
The Arkansas Legislature passed House Bill 1743, which became law on July 27, 2011 and can be found at Section 6-18-708 of the Arkansas Code (A.C.A. Section 6-18-708). Arkansas strengthened its existing concussion law when Senate Bill 1158 (Act 1435) became law on August 16, 2013. The amendment can be found at §6-18-710 of the Arkansas Code under the Education title and the chapter dealing with students and health. In addition, Arkansas Senate Bill 773 (Act 924) appropriated to the Arkansas Department of Education a sum not to exceed $1,000.000.00 for a pilot project on concussion management.
Section 6-18-708 requires public school districts to develop procedures concerning certain health conditions including concussions that a student athlete my encounter during athletic training and physical activities. Any person employed as an athletic coach is required to complete training every 3 years regarding health conditions identified in the statute including concussions. The amendments set forth in §6-18-710 define youth athletic activity as an organized athletic activity involving participants engaging in athletic games, competition or practice against or in preparation for an organized athletic game or competition against another team, club or entity in which a majority those participating at under 19 years of age. The Arkansas Department of Health is required to develop protocols to protect all youth athletes engaged in youth athletic activities in Arkansas. Guidelines shall include information and forms to coaches, youth athletes and parents which inform and educate regarding the nature and risk of concussions and head injuries and continuing to play after a concussion or head injury. Prior to engaging in a youth athletic activity, an information sheet must be signed by the youth athlete and the parent or guardian if the participant is under 18 years of age. A youth athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion shall be removed from the game, activity or practice at that time and not return to play until evaluation by a health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussions and receiving written clearance to return to play.
Title 6 (Education) of the Arkansas Code, Section 6-18-708 is currently available online at:
http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/arcode/ (using the “natural language and full-text of source documents buttons type in concussion and search).
SB 773 (Act 924) can be viewed online at:
There is currently no legislation pending to amend this statute.