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Concussions in Youth Athletes - California


The California law is found under the California Education Code (Cal. Educ. Code Section 35179.1 (c)(6), known as the 1998 California High School Coaching Education and Training Program) requires that coaches be certified in CPR and first aid and have a basic understanding of the signs and symptoms of concussions and the appropriate response to concussions. The California law can be found at sections 38131(6) and 49475 of the Education Code. (Cal. Educ. Code § 38131(6))

The California law provides that if a school district, charter school or private school offers an athletic program, any athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion must be removed immediately from the activity for the rest of the day. The student is not permitted to return to activity until cleared in writing by a licensed health care professional who is trained in the management of concussions and acting within the scope of their practice. Parents/guardians of any student wishing to participate in an athletic activity and the athlete are required to annually sign a concussion information sheet before the student can participate. If a licensed health care provider determines that an athlete has sustained a concussion, the athlete shall complete a graduated return to play protocol of not less than seven (7) days. A high school coach is required to obtain training and certification in first aid and CPR, which includes a basic understanding of the signs and symptoms of concussions and the appropriate response to concussions. An athletic program is required to adopt and implement guidelines to prevent, assess and treat sports-related concussions. This law may apply to recreational activities taking place on school owned grounds at the discretion at the governing board for the school district.

The official versions of sections 38131(6), 35179.1, and 49475 are currently available online at: