Concussions in Youth Athletes - Montana
Currently, as of December 15, 2012, Montana has no law or pending legislation regarding concussions. However, there is an unapproved draft bill LC 330 created in anticipation of the 2013 legislative session proposing an act titled The Dylan Steigers Protection of Youth Athletes Act. The proposal would require each school district in the state offering youth athletic activities to adopt policies and procedures to inform athletic trainers, coaches, officials, youth athletes and parents/guardians of the nature and risk of brain injuries including concussions. Annually youth athletes and parents would be required to signed a form acknowledging receipt and review of the materials adopted by the school district prior to participation. Coaches, athletic trainers and officials would be required to undergo an annual training program and to remove a youth athlete suspected of sustaining or exhibiting signs, symptoms and behaviors of a concussion. Once remove, a youth athlete may not return to play until concussion symptoms are no longer exhibited and written clearance is received from licensed health care professional who has conducted an evaluation.
The text of LC 330 can be view online at:
Until such time as Montana 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/