Concussion Training Bill Heads To Governor's Desk
By Jackelyn Severin
A bill creating new protocols for how high school coaches, parents and athletes deal with concussions has passed the South Dakota House of Representatives.
Under Senate Bill 149 coaches must undergo yearly concussion training. The bill also requires athletes showing signs of a concussion be evaluated by a health care provider before returning to play. Proponents of Senate Bill 149 say the amount of young athletes treated for concussions has doubled since the 1990’s. They say new evidence shows severe long-term effects of athletes receiving more than one concussion. Representive Melissa Magstadt says SB 149 helps coaches and sports teams deal with an issue that’s becoming a growing problem.
"What happens in this bill is that the coach is given that training to identify these kids that oh you know what looks like he got his bell rung, gives them the education to understand what those symptoms are but it also goes on to say to put the child back into play again requires the evaluation of a health care provider and so you now you have the support of the coach to do the right thing," Magstadt says.
Opponents of the bill say it puts and excessive burden on schools. They say the bill is unnecessary because programs are being developed at the local level to address this problem.
The House passed the bill by a vote of 52 to 16.
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