As of July 1st the state of New York’s law on concussions is in full effect. The key provisions are not un-similar to other states and include: each school coach, athletic trainer, nurse and PE teacher must take a course on concussions, suspected concussions will result in immediate removal, and anyone with a concussion cannot return to activity in less than 24 hours and MUST have a physician clear them.
WSYR of Syracuse, New York had a segment on the topic a couple of days ago, and you might notice the individual interviewed in the piece, non other than Dr. Don Brady – follower and commenter on this blog (click on link to see video);
According to experts like psychologist Dr. Don Brady, as many as 40% of kids prematurely return to play a sport after getting a concussion. “Think of a concussion as a sprained brain,” explained Dr. Brady. “You don’t ask someone who sprains their ankle to go out and see if their ankle’s okay and run around the track a couple of times to see how much better it is. You tell them to rest, period. We don’t do that with concussions.”
Dr. Brady says brain damage occurs when the brain ricochets in the skull after an impact.
“Basically, the brain is moving in the skull when the head is stopped,” said Dr. Brady. “The brain still moves within that skull.”
Dr. Brady says the effects of concussions can get worse with each consecutive concussion. Though school officials say that can be hard to explain to eager student-athletes.
We have discussed many times that legislation like this is only a small first step, at the very least awareness is being forced upon the schools, or in some sates the athletes and parents. It would be extremely naive to think every one of them takes it serious or is serious about understanding the issue and injury.
There needs to be a conduit for discussion/answering questions at every school: more specifically one who would know how to assess, evaluate, manage and even treat the injury. If that is a school nurse, great hopefully they can be at every practice or game if (and when) the need will arise. Or, schools can bite the bullet and pay for an athletic trainer. As Mike Hopper says all the time “Every athlete deserves and an athletic trainer.” That is not just for concussions, for every injury that may happen being a student-athlete.