Concussions in Youth Athletes - Hawaii
On July 12, 2016, the Governor signed S.B. 2557 (Act 262 of 2016) into law, effective retroactively to July 1, 2016, which amended existing law (HB 2273/SD1 (Act 197 of 2012) and expanded the concussion education program under Act 197 to youth athletic activity and also added additional program requirements. The amendment requires the Department of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science, Hawaii Department of Education and the Hawaii High School Athletic Association (“HHSAA”) to jointly develop a concussion educational program, including education for students, parents, officials, faculty, coaches, and administrators about the signs and symptoms of a concussion, annual programs for coaches about the warning signs, education on the need for mandatory removal of students from activities if demonstrating the signs and symptoms of a concussion, education on the need for a licensed health care professional to evaluate the student and the monitoring of the student. Every public and private school that is a member of the HHSAA must develop the school’s concussion awareness program, and every such program must require:
- Annual concussion training for coaches, administrators, faculty, staff and sports officials;
- Annual concussion awareness education for participants in school athletics or youth athletic activities, including parents of minor or student participants. Individuals who receive such concussion awareness education shall sign a concussion information sheet to verify that they have attended, received, and viewed the concussion awareness education;
- Immediate removal of any participant from a game, practice or activity who is suspected of having a concussion or if they exhibit the signs or symptoms of a concussion.
- That the concussed participant be evaluated and cleared by a licensed health care provider trained in concussion management before they can return to athletics or academics; and
- The authorization to return must be in writing and must include a statement that the student is eligible to resume participation in the sport and requires that the student’s return be monitored by the school’s trainer, and may require the student to follow a recovery plan like rest/reintroduction to activity.
The new law defines youth athletic activity as an organized athletic activity where the majority of the participants are eleven years of age or older and under nineteen (19) years of age, and are engaging in an organized athletic game or competition against another team, club or other entity or engaged in practice for competition. Youth athletic activity does not include college or university activity, activity entered into for instructional purposes only, or athletic activity incidental to a non-athletic program. School athletics
means athletic events sponsored by any public or private school from grade nine to twelve. Coach is defined as a paid or volunteer individual working for, assisting or managing a sports team for school athletics or a youth athletic activity.
Act 262 also contained an appropriation in order to develop and implement a concussion monitoring and educational program for school athletics, to develop and implement a concussion and awareness program for youth athletics, and to administer concussion testing to high school students. The Department of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science of the University of Hawaii is required to submit a report to the Hawaii legislature no later than 20 days prior to the convening of the regular 2017 legislative session regarding the progress in implementing the Act.
There are no online links available at this time for the Hawaii concussion law enacted on July 12, 2016.
The text of HB 2273 and Act 197 are available online at:
The text of SB 2557 (Act 262) are available online at:
The following websites offer additional information regarding Hawaii concussion law: