Concussions in Youth Athletes - Wyoming
Governor Mead signed SF 38 into law on March 10, 2011. This law can be found at sections 21-2-202 and 21-3-110 of the Wyoming Code, under the title dealing with Education. (Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 21-2-202 and 21-3-110(a)xxxii).
This law requires the state superintendant and the board of trustees for each school district to develop protocols and guidelines regarding concussions. School district protocols must include training of coaches, restrictions on participation, and means to provide concussion information to students and parents.
The entire Wyoming Code, including these new sections, is currently available online at:
http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/wystatutes/ (search LexisNexis and search terms and connectors and table of contents for 21-2-202 and 21-3-110).
A bill SF 0050 has been introduced to create Sections 35-30-101 through 35-30-102 of the Wyoming Statutes.
The definition of “Athletic Coach or trainer” includes paid or volunteer individuals outside school athletic events. The proposed legislation would preclude a coach from allowing a youth athlete to participate in an athletic event on the same day if exhibiting signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with or has been diagnosed with a concussion or head injury. A coach or athletic trainer may permit a youth athlete to return to play the following day if sign, symptoms or behaviors consistent with concussion or head injury are no longer present and a written release is received from a licensed health care professional. Each organization sponsoring or conducting an athletic event shall ensure that each athletic coach or trainer participating in an athletic events receives training in accordance with protocols and rules establish by the Department of Health. Prior to January 1st each year, the entity sponsoring or organizing an athletic event or activity will be required to provide a concussion and head injury form to the youth athlete and parent/guardian and prior to participate in play shall receive the information form signed by the parent/guardian. “Athletic event or activity” is defined as any organized youth sports event or activity sponsored or organized by a local government or a for profit or non-profit nongovernmental organization and does not include school athletic events, which are sanctioned by the Wyoming High School Activities Association and athletic activities in middle or junior high school.
This proposed legislation was placed in the Senate General file on February 20, 2012 and there has been no further action taken on this proposed legislation since that time.
The text of the Senate File No. SF 0050 can be viewed online at:
Until such time as Wyoming enacts more meaningful 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/