Governor signs Proos’ bill to update youth sports concussion law

Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos’ legislation to update the state’s concussion awareness law was recently signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

“As a father with children involved in multiple sports and physical activities, I understand the importance of concussion awareness and that we must do everything we can to protect the health of our young athletes,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I am proud to have led the effort in 2012 to help inform parents, coaches and athletes about concussions in youth sports. This new measure is about ensuring the law is meeting the needs of Michigan’s youth athletes.”

In 2012, Michigan passed Proos’ youth athlete concussion bills to protect young athletes by increasing awareness among coaches, volunteers, parents and athletes about the dangers associated with concussions. A youth suspected of sustaining a concussion is now required to be immediately removed from activity and cannot return until he or she has been evaluated by a health professional and has received written clearance to play.

Since the passage of Michigan’s statute, research and education have made significant strides to enhance the safety and health of student athletes and youth sports participants. Senate Bill 352, now Public Act 137 of 2017, requires the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to regularly review the state’s concussion awareness training program and make recommendations that coincide with the latest understanding of the neurobiopsychosocial nature of concussive injury and recovery.

PA 137 also ensures that supervising adults, such as coaches, are required to take part in the concussion awareness program complete the training once every three years. In addition, the legislation clarifies the definition of youth athlete.

Dr. Steven Broglio, director of the University of Michigan NeuroTrauma Research Laboratory and co-principal investigator of the Concussion, Assessment, Research and Education (CARE) Consortium, stressed that state recommendations and the recommended care models should evolve as new research becomes available.

“It is important for sporting organizations and administrators to be up-to-date with the latest concussion research,” Broglio said. “That information should be promptly implemented to the clinical setting and disseminated to answer pressing questions asked by athletes and their families. Ultimately, we are interested in creating a safe environment that encourages physical activity throughout life.”

Proos said, “We are learning more about concussions every day. This reform is designed to ensure that everyone involved in youth sports keeps our children safe by keeping up with the latest standards and protocols for treating and preventing concussions.”

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Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos are available at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.