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Concussions in Youth Athletes - District of Columbia

Washington D.C.

The District of Columbia law can be found at sections 7-2871.01 through 7-2871.05 of the District of Columbia Code, under the human health care and safety title and the chapter dealing with public safety and youth athletic concussion protection. (D.C. Code §§ 7-2871.01 through 7-2871.05).

District of Columbia law defines concussion, youth athlete, activity, and school. It requires that any athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion during an athletic activity must be removed from participation until evaluated by a health care professional and given written clearance to return to play. The law further requires coaches to undergo concussion training and parents/guardians are required to sign a statement acknowledging receipt of information about concussions each year before the athlete is allowed to participate in any athletic activity.

In accordance with the District of Columbia rule making authority, the Department of Health issued rules found in Section 22-B620 (Concussion Protection) under the Public Health Chapter (Title 22-B Public Health and Medicine) and Chapter 22-B6 (Protection of Minors). The new concussion regulation became effective September 19, 2014 and applies to any athletic activity sponsored by a private for profit or nonprofit organization regardless of where the activity occurs in the District, any athletic school-sponsored athletic activity and any athletic activity sponsored by the Department of Parks and Recreation. Each sponsor of an athletic activity shall provide written verification that each coach, trainer, or Physical Education teacher meets required training requirements and shall provide to sponsor organization a certification of completion of either of the following online training courses prior to supervising any practice and shall be required to renew the training every 2 years and provide a certification of completion;

(a) Concussion in sports—v2.0 http://www.nfhslearn.com/electiveDetail.aspx?courseID=38000; or

(b) CDC Concussion in sports—Heads Up http://cdc.gov/concussion/headsup/training/.

The regulations define athlete as a person who engages in athletic activity who is 18 years or age or younger. Athletic activity is defined as a program or event, including practice and competition organized as part of a school-sponsored interscholastic-athletic program, an athletic program sponsored by the Department of Parks and Recreation, or by a private for profit or nonprofit organization.

The official versions of these sections are currently available online at:

http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/dccode/ (use natural language button and search full text for concussion)

The text of Section 22-B620 can be viewed online at:

(click on view text)