Concussions in Youth Athletes - Georgia
Governor Nathan Deal signed HB 284 (“Return to Play Act”) into law on April 23, 2013. The new law can be found at Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia under miscellaneous provisions of the “Quality Basic Education Act” at Section 20-2-324.1. The Act became effective January 1, 2014.
The law requires local boards of education, non-public and charter schools to adopt and implement a concussion management and return to play policy, which must minimally provide that: (i) prior to commencement of an athletic season for youth athletic activity all youth athletes and parents will be provided an information sheet explaining the nature and risks of concussion and head injury; (ii) youth athletes exhibiting symptoms of a concussion shall be removed from the activity until evaluated by a health care provider; and (iii) youth athletes deemed to have sustained concussions shall not be permitted to return to play until a health provider gives clearance for a full or graduated return to play. Each public recreation facility must provide an information sheet to all youth athletes and parents at the time of registration and are encouraged to develop and implement a concussion management and return to play policy. The Georgia Department of Public Health must endorse one or more concussion recognition education course(s) and make one available online. The law does not create liability for education boards, governing body of a nonpublic school, governing body of charter schools or public recreation facility, officers, employees, volunteers or other designated personnel for acts or omissions related to removal or non removal of a youth athlete from play. Youth athlete is defined as a participant in a youth athletic activity age 7 and under age 19 years of age. Public recreation facility is a public facility that conducts organized youth activity requiring registration and a participation fee.
The new law can be viewed online at:
http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/gacode/Default.asp (use natural language button and search full text for concussion)
There is no proposed legislation pending at the present time to amend or repeal this statute.