Concussions in Youth Athletes - Kentucky
On April 30, 2012 Governor Steve Beshear signed HB 281 into law. The law can be found at Title XIII of the Kentucky education law in the Kentucky Revised Statutes (K.R.S.) section 160.445 dealing with school district officers and employees. In 2013, HB 109 was introduced and eventually signed by the governor. Although it applies to this section, the amendments were not substantive changes.
The law requires that every interscholastic coach attend a safety course regarding prevention of common injuries including concussions. The Kentucky Board of Education is required to establish the specifics as outlined in the legislation with regard to the safety course (e.g. timeline for completion of course, providers for the course, establishment of minimum qualify score, course updates and revisions, end of course examination). The presence of at least one person completing the course is mandated at every interscholastic athletic practice and competition and coaches are required to receive annual concussion training. The Board is required to develop and distribute guidelines and other materials to inform and educate student athletes and their parents and guardians. The law requires that a student athlete believed to have sustained a concussion by a interscholastic coach, school athletic personnel or a contest official during a competition or practice shall be removed from play at that time and not return until evaluated by a licensed health care provider who is competent in the evaluation and care of concussions and other brain injuries and a determination made as to whether or not a concussion has occurred. The State Board must also adopt rules governing interscholastic athletics requiring each school to develop a venue specific emergency action plan to deal with serious injuries and acute medical conditions in accordance with specifics set for the in the proposed legislation.
The text of Section160.445 can be viewed on line at:
On February 19, 2013, HB 418 was introduced and referred to the House Education Committee. In its current form, the proposed legislation seeks to extend the provisions of KRS 160.445 to any city, county, urban-county government, charter county government, unified local government, special district, or any department board, or agency, including any agency formed wholly or in part by any of the aforementioned entities that manages an athletic program. HB 418, as proposed would eliminate references to “student athlete” and “interscholastic coach” amend to “athlete” and “coach” respectively.
The text of HB 418 can be view online at:
http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/13RS/HB418.htm (click on HB418 / LM link)