Concussions in Youth Athletes - Maine
Currently, Maine has no substantive law regarding concussions. Title 20 of the Maine Revised Statutes (A.M.R.S.A) Section 254.17, which falls under the Maine educational laws requires the Commissioner of Education in consultation with others develop a model policy with regard to the management of concussions and other head injuries in school activities and athletics. Section 1001.19 of Title 20 requires that beginning January 1, 2013, each school board and governing body of each private school with certain enrollment numbers adopt and implement a policy for management of concussions and other head injuries consistent with the model policy developed by the Commissioner.
The text of sections 254.17 and 1001.19 can be viewed online at:
HP 84/ LD 98 was introduced and was carried over into the next legislative term without becoming law. On March 19, 2012, HP 84/LD 98 was placed in Legislative Files meaning it is now dead legislation.
The text of the now dead bill can be viewed online at: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_125th/billtexts/HP008401.asp
The proposed legislation directed the Commissioner of Education to adopt a policy on the management of head injuries in school athletic activities and recommends that all youth sports organizations follow its provisions and familiarize themselves with the information and resources provided by the Centers for Disease Control Prevention and available through their website: www.cdc.gov/Concussion. The policy must include information, protocols and forms and requirements for removing from an athletic practice, game or activity, a student suspected of having sustained a head injury and for banning that student from participation for that day and until the school has received written clearance for the student to resume participation. Schools must adopt a policy on management of head injuries. The sharing of policies, information, training, protocols and forms with statewide and local organizations that sponsor sports and athletics is allowed under the pending legislation.
There was no legislation introduced in 2012 to amend or repeal the existing law.
Until such time as Maine enacts applicable legislation, LLB encourages its leagues, teams and youth sports programs to familiarize themselves with the information and resources provided by the Centers for Disease Control Prevention, available through their website: www.cdc.gov/Concussion
The Centers for Disease Control Prevention is helping to support states, leagues, and schools by developing educational resources in line with components in many of the return to play laws through the development of a FREE Heads Up program.
The Centers for Disease Control Prevention Heads Up initiative provides the following:
1. Online course for coaches and parents. In under 30 minutes coaches and parents can learn about identifying a suspected concussion and how to respond. After completing the training and quiz, coaches and parents can print out a certificate, making it easy to show their league or school they are ready for the season. Coaches online training can be accessed at: http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/online_training.html
2. Parent/Athlete information sheet with signature lines that can be ordered or downloaded and distributed during registration or prior to the first practice.
3. Online course for health care professionals on concussion in sports diagnosis and return to school and play management. This one hour course provides an overview of what health care professionals need to know about concussion in sports and includes a free continuing education opportunity through the American College of Sports Medicine. Healthcare professionals’ online training can be accessed at http://preventingconcussions.org/