Diegnan Bill Improving High School Athlete Concussion Protocol Advances

Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick Diegnan, that would strengthen high school athlete concussion protocols was passed by the Senate Education Committee today.

“Medical science continues to educate us on the dangers of concussions and the long-term effects they can have on those who do not properly manage their concussions,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “High school athletes are the most at-risk population to sustain a concussion. With an estimated 300,000 high school students sustaining concussions every year, it is our responsibility to ensure the proper safety protocols are in place for schools to effectively manage the health of their student-athletes.”

Under the bill, S-225, student-athletes that have sustained a concussion would be prohibited from returning to competition until they have returned to regular school activities and are symptom-free.

The return of the student-athlete or cheerleader would be required to be in accordance with the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) graduated, six-step “Return to Play Progression” recommendations, which address time frames for participating in: light aerobic activity; moderate activity; heavy, non-contact activity; practice and full contact; and competition.

The bill would require the Department of Education to revise its athletic head injury safety training program to include information on the CDC’s graduated, six-step “Return to Play Progression” recommendations, and would also require school districts to revise their written policy concerning the prevention and treatment of sports-related concussions and other head injuries.

The bill was released by the committee with a vote of 6-0.