Concussions in Youth Athletes - Mississippi
Currently, Mississippi has no law regarding concussions. However, H.B. 48 was introduced on January 7, 2014 and referred to the Public Health and Human Services House Committee. As proposed, the legislation would require each local board of education, administration of a nonpublic school and governing body of a charter school to adopt and implement concussion management and return to play policy, which includes the following components: parents to receive and provide a signed copy of the concussion policy prior to the start of an athletic season, immediate removal of an athlete who reports or displays any concussion symptoms from practice or play, prohibition from return to play for the remainder of the day, evaluation by a health care provider, returning to play only after full recovery and health care provider clearance, and no return to play until demonstrating the absence of symptoms in a fully supervised practice. The state health department shall endorse a concussion education course and make it available online. The act also contains liability protection and does not create liability for or create a cause of action against a school, its officers, a health care provider, an organization or association of which the school or district is a member, a private or public school, a private club, a public recreation facility, or an athletic league provided the act has been complied with.
HB 48 can be viewed online at:
Until such time as Mississippi 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:
- Online course for coaches and parents. In less than 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. Coach’s online training can be accessed at: http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/online_training.html
- Parent/Athlete information sheet with signature lines that can be ordered or downloaded and distributed during registration or prior to the first practice.
- 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/