Concussions in Youth Athletes - New Hampshire
SB 402 became law effective August 17, 2012. The law can be found at Sections 200:49 through 200:52 of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes and is contained in the statute dealing with education. The act is entitled Head Injury Policies for Student Sports.
The law encourages each school district to develop guidelines and other pertinent information and educate coaches, student athletes and student athletes’ parents or guardians of the nature and risk of concussions and head injury and continuing to play after concussion or head injury. Each school district is encouraged to annually distribute to all student athletes a concussion and head injury information sheet. The law also provides that a school employee, coach, official, trainer, or health care provider who suspects that a youth athlete has sustained a concussion or head injury shall remove the youth athlete from play immediately and once removed a student athlete shall not return to play on the same day or until evaluated by a health care provider and receives written medical clearance to return. No person authorizing a return to play by a youth athlete shall be subject to civil liability unless acts or omissions rise to a level of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct. School districts are not civilly liable for injury or death of a youth athlete due the action or inactions of persons employed by or under contract with a youth program provided the action or inaction was in accordance with the statute and local school board policies regarding the management of concussions and head injuries. A school district may provide its policies to other organizations sponsoring athletic activities on district property, but are not required to enforce such guidelines. Effective July 15, 2013, the definition of “Student Athlete” in §200.52 was amended and expanded to include a student in grades 4 through 12 involved in intramural sports or competitive athletic programs between schools.
The text of the enacted legislation can be viewed online at:
On January 8, 2014, HB 1113 was introduced and referred to committee. As proposed, the legislation would amend §200-49 and would require school boards to develop guidelines, information and forms regarding concussions to inform and educate coaches, student athletes and student athletes’ parents or guardians of the nature and risk of concussions and head injury and continuing to play after concussion or head injury. It would also require each school district or school to annually distribute a concussion information sheet to all student athletes. The text of HB 1113 can be viewed online at: