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JEFFERSON CITY – Legislation sponsored by Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger, R-Lake St. Louis, that creates the Youth Sports Brain Injury Prevention Act was signed into law this week. The legislation (HB 300) received overwhelming approval from both the Missouri House and Senate during the 2011 legislative session.
The legislation establishes the Interscholastic Youth Sports Brain Injury Prevention Act, which requires the Department of Health and Senior Services to develop guidelines on the risk of concussion and brain injury.
“This bill ensures that the golden standard ‘when in doubt, sit it out’ will be followed among coaches and athletes in Missouri,” said Gatschenberger. “I’m hopeful this will help prevent serious injuries among young athletes.”
Gatschenberger added that with 18 percent of all high school sports being contact sports and up to 19 percent of all athletes in those sports receiving a concussion, it is time to take action to protect young people from serious head injuries.
The act will require youth athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion or brain injury to be removed from competition at that time for at least 24 hours. The athlete may not return to competition until they have been evaluated by a licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussions and received a written clearance from their health care provider to return to competition.
With the governor’s signature, the bill is set to become law on Aug. 28.