Michigan Launches Educational Website for Sports Concussions
Contact: Angela Minicuci (517) 241-2112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 3, 2013
LANSING - Michigan recently became the 39th U.S. state to enact a law that regulates sports concussions and return to athletic activity. While the law goes into full effect on June 30, 2013, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has launched a website with resources for coaches, parents, and athletes with educational resources and online training courses from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) "Head's Up" Program.
"Concussions are a very serious injury that can change a young athlete's life forever" said James K. Haveman, Director of the MDCH. "With more awareness about the signs, symptoms and consequences of concussions and prompt removal from play when a concussion is suspected, this law will help to preserve future health and academic performance of student athletes."
A concussion is a serious brain injury, caused by a blow, bump or jolt to the head. It can occur in any sport or recreational activity. According to the CDC, each year U.S. emergency departments treat an estimated 173,285 sports and recreation-related concussions among children and adolescents, with the highest number of injuries occurring in boy's football and girls' soccer.
The MDCH website communicates the details of the law and how to comply with it. Michigan's sports concussion law requires that all organizing entities that sponsor an athletic activity (including any game, competition or practice) to ensure that all coaches, employees, volunteers, or other involved adults, participate in a concussion awareness training program and to provide educational resources on the signs, symptoms and consequences of sports concussions to parents, athletes and volunteers. Parents and athletes will be required to sign a statement acknowledging receipt of educational materials, which is to be kept on file by the organizing entity.
If a concussion is suspected, the athlete is to be immediately removed from the athletic activity and shall not return to play until they have received written clearance from an appropriate health professional. Medical clearance should only be provided after a graduated return to play plan has been completed and the youth athlete has been symptom free at all stages.
"The State of Michigan hopes with more education and immediate action, we together can prevent the life changing effects that can result from a sports concussion," said Haveman.
For more information about the Michigan sports concussion law and to see the educational and training tools available from the CDC's "Heads Up" Program, visit www.michigan.gov/sportsconcussion. For parents, coaches, or athletes looking to join the conversation about brain injury awareness, visit www.facebook.com/CDCHeadsUp.
Michigan's Sports Concussion Law: Compliance Checklist
Effective June 30th, 2013
Learn about the new law and how it affects you and your organization.
Please visit www.michigan.gov/sportsconcussion.
Plan how this new law will be implemented in your organization before it sponsors or operates an athletic activity in which youth athletes will participate.
Understand what is required and make sure those provisions are implemented.
Ensure that required training is completed.
Coaches, employees, volunteers, and other adults who are involved with a youth athletic activity sponsored by or operated under the auspices of the organizing entity must complete a concussion awareness on-line training program.
Provide educational materials to youth athletes and parents.
The organizing entity is responsible for providing educational materials to each youth athlete who participates in a sponsored athletic activity and their parents/guardians.
Document and maintain receipt of educational materials by youth athletes and parents.
The organizing entity should obtain a signed statement by each youth athlete and parent/guardian that acknowledges receipt of educational materials on concussions and their consequences. Signed statements should be maintained in a permanent file for the duration of the youth athlete's participation in the athletic activity or until the youth athlete is 18 years of age.
Immediately remove from play any youth athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion.
The coach or other adult employed by, volunteering for or acting on behalf of the organizing entity during an athletic event sponsored or operated by that entity shall immediately remove an athlete from physical participation who is suspected of sustaining a concussion during the athletic activity.
An athletic activity means a program or event, including practice and competition, during which youth athletes participate or practice to participate in an organized athletic game or competition against another team, club, entity or individual. Athletic activity includes participation in physical education classes that are part of a school curriculum.
Before returning a youth athlete to play, obtain written clearance from an appropriate health professional.
The youth athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion is not allowed to return to any physical activity until they have been evaluated by an appropriate health professional and must receive written clearance from an appropriate health professional authorizing return to physical activity.
The organizing entity shall maintain the Written Clearance to Return to Play Forms in a permanent file for the duration of the participation of the youth athlete in a physical activity or until the youth athlete is over 18 years of age.
Keep information and resources about the law on hand.
Information about the law and resources are available at: www.michigan.gov/sportsconcussion.