Concussions in Youth Athletes - Maryland
Governor O’Malley signed SB 771/HB 858 into law on May 19, 2011. This law can be found at section 7-433 of the Maryland Code, under the education title, in the division related to elementary and secondary education and the chapter devoted to public schools, in the section on the health and safety of students. (Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-433) and § 14-501 of the Maryland Code under the health title in the chapter related to general day care and subtitled youth sports programs.
Section 7-433 requires the Department of Education to develop policies and a program of concussion awareness for staff, students, coaches and parents/guardians of student athletes. The law requires that before a student participates in any athletic activity, the student and their parents/guardians must sign a concussion information form. A student must be removed from play if they are suspected of sustaining a concussion and may not return to play until cleared in writing by a health care professional.
Before an individual may participate in an authorized athletic activity on school property, the parents of the individual must be given an information form on concussions and sign an acknowledgment of its receipt. Youth sports programs that use public school facilities must annually provide to the county board a statement of their intent to comply with all the requirements of this section.
Section 14-501 defines youth athlete as an individual who participates in an athletic activity in association with a youth sports program at a public school facility or by a recreational athletic organization. Youth sports program is a program organized for recreational competition or instruction for participants who are under 19 years of age. A youth sports organization shall make information on concussions developed by the Education Department to coaches, youth athletes and parents. A youth athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion shall be removed at the time and may not return to play until obtaining a written clearance from a qualified health care provider. Prior to a youth sports program using a facility own or operated by local government, notice of these provisions must be provided to the youth sports program.
The entire Maryland Code, including new sections, can currently be found online at:
http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/mdcode/ (use natural language button search and search terms for concussion).
At the present, there is no legislation pending to amend or repeal this statute.