Back in 2011, Governor Hickenlooper signed into law the Jake Snakenberg Youth Sports Concussion Act. This law requires that student athletes be removed from the field of play if they show signs or having a concussion. Any athlete removed from play for a concussion must get clearance from a healthcare professional before they can return to play. This law is meant to prevent athletes from suffering recurrent brain injuries that could have lasting effects, but are these concussion laws working? A new study from researchers at the University of Colorado aims to find out.
How Effective Are Colorado’s Concussion Laws?
Dawn Comstock—a researcher at Colorado School of Public Health—and several colleagues have published a study in the online edition of the American Journal of Public Health. This study looks at data from the national database called High School RIO, which is part of a nationwide effort to track high school sports injuries. Taking that data, these researchers have tried to find out if state concussion laws have worked, and they have made some encouraging discoveries.
Between 2005 and 2016, more concussions were reported due to improved detection procedures. However, after rates stabilized, researchers began to notice something encouraging. In states that had concussion laws, the rate of recurrent concussions dropped. This means that concussion laws are actually helping to reduce concussions experienced by student athletes all across Colorado. But this good news is just the starting point for some.
The Pac-12 Conference has chosen the University of Colorado Boulder to lead its Student-Athlete Heath and Well-Being Concussion Coordinating Unit (PCCU). This initiative will research and develop best practices on managing and treating traumatic brain injuries suffered by students participating in sports. The NCAA’s Concussion Assessment Research and Education Consortium will also add its researching power in a partnership with the PCCU to test new technology that will help detect concussions faster. This could revolutionize the way we treat brain injuries in both school sports and in situations like car accidents.
The traumatic brain injury attorneys at Metier Law Firm want you to remember that a healthy brain is an essential part of living a normal life. We have to do what ever we can to protect them, especially in our children.