On March 16, 2011, the Louisiana Senate Health and Welfare Committee unanimously passed the Youth Concussion Act. This act, which was brought forth by a state-wide consortium included BIALA, the NFL & Saints organizations, many in the medical community, the LA High School Athletic Association and more, was authored by Senator Sherri Cheek (District 38) and coauthored by 17 other Senators and Legislators.
The mission of the Louisiana Youth Concussion Act is to better protect Louisiana’s youth athletes from both the acute and long-term dangers of concussions and second impact syndrome, increase state-wide awareness of coaches, officials, athletes, and parents alike; improve and better standardize current health care practices regarding the evaluation and management of the concussed youth athlete to be in line with the current recommendations and guidelines in medical literature.
The core components are:
· Raise awareness of the dangers associated with mismanagement of concussions and brain injury suffered in youth sports.
· Establish training and education standards for coaches, officials, parents, and youth athletes for recognition of concussion and brain injury symptoms.
· Ensure that any youth athlete who is suspected of having suffered a concussion or brain injury is removed from play immediately and appropriately evaluated in an effort to avoid potential catastrophic injuries associated with second impact syndrome or other acute, related brain injury.
· Promote increased education among coaches, officials, athletes, parents, and healthcare providers regarding the importance of prompt recognition of sports-related concussion and its subsequent appropriate proper management, both acute—on the field—and chronic, allowing safe return to play based upon current, accepted medical guidelines.
The Senate Bill 189 became the Louisiana Youth Concussions Awareness Law when Governor Jindal signed it on June 28, 2011.