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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 §35179.1(c)(6), § 38131(6)), and §49475.

Section 49475 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 athlete 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 under the care of a licensed health care provider. Section 35178.1(c)(6) requires a high school coach 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. Section 38131 provides that youth sports league activities taking place on school facilities or on school grounds are at the discretion at the governing board for the school district and subject to terms and conditions as the board may deem proper.

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




The following website offer additional information regarding California concussion law: