Concussions in Youth Athletes - Connecticut
The Connecticut law can be found at sections 10-149b and 10-149c of the Connecticut General Statutes, under the title dealing with education and the chapter concerning teachers. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 10-149b through 10-149c).
Connecticut law requires that any coach holding or who is issued, a coaching permit and is coaching intramural or interscholastic athletics must complete an initial training course regarding concussions prior to coaching the season and effective July 1, 2014 after completion of the initial training course must annually review current and relevant prepared and approved information regarding concussions prior to commencing a coaching assignment. Beginning with an effective date of July 1, 2015, a coach shall complete an approved refresher course at least once every five (5) years as a condition of the re-issuing of a coaching permit. The State Board of Education in consultation with Commissioner of Public Health and others shall develop or approve a Concussion Education Plan dealing with the recognition of the signs of concussions, the means for obtaining appropriate medical treatment, the nature and risks of concussion and dangers of continuing to play, and proper return to play protocols. Effective July 1, 2015, a participating student athlete’s parent or guardian must sign an informed consent form prior to the student’s participation in athletic activity. Also beginning for the school year commencing July 1, 2015, a student shall be prohibited from participation in any intramural or interscholastic activity unless the student and a parent/guardian completes an approved Concussion Education Plan.
A coach of any intramural or interscholastic athletics must immediately remove a student athlete from further participation if exhibiting signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with concussion after an observed or suspected blow to the head or if the student athlete is diagnosed with a concussion regardless of when the concussion occurred. Upon removal from participation, the coach or other qualified school employee shall notify the student athlete’s parent or legal guardian of a suspected or diagnosed concussion not later than 24 hours after the removal and preferably immediately. The student athlete may not return to participation for at least 24 hours since exhibiting signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion or after being diagnosed with a concussion and until receiving written clearance from a licensed health care professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussions. A coach shall not allow a return to full and unrestricted activity until the signs, symptoms, and behaviors of a concussion are no longer exhibited and written clearance is received approving full participation. Effective July 1, 2014, each school district shall furnish an annual report to the State Board of Education reporting all occurrences of concussions.
The Connecticut Law defines Youth Athletic Activity as an organized athletic activity involving participants of not less than 7 years old and not more than 19 years of age who engage in an organized athletic practice, game, or competition and pays a participation fee. An operator is any municipality, business, or nonprofit organization that conducts, coordinates, organizes or oversees any youth athletic activity. Effective January 1, 2015, each operator of a youth athletic activity shall provide a written statement regarding concussions to each youth athlete and a parent/guardian upon registration, which shall include at the minimum (i) the recognition of the signs of concussions, (ii)the means for obtaining appropriate medical treatment, (iii) the nature and risks of concussion and dangers of continuing to play, and (iv) proper return to play protocols.
Section 10-149b and Section 10-149c can be viewed online at:
http://search.cga.state.ct.us/dtsearch_pub_statutes.html (search Section number 10-149b or Section number 10-149c).