Colorado’s “Jake Snakenberg Act”

The concussion legislation in Colorado went into full effect recently and in this case, a seven year-old, it has paid dividends;

“Two concussions and a scar right here,” said Dylan, pointing to his forehead.

Dylan suffered his first concussion playing football this past summer. He says he suffered another concussion when he ran into the dishwasher at his home.

“I was chasing my brother,” said Dylan.

His mother, Alex Hearn, admits she didn’t understand the full implications of concussions till it happened to her son.

“I think people don’t take it as seriously as they probably need to,” said Alex Hearn.

The new measures Continue reading

Knowing Is Half The (UPDATE)

UPDATE: Thanks to commenter @SpMedConcepts I should write that one test is just a piece to the puzzle.  And a comprehensive testing procedure that includes all of the available “baselines” and assessments should be used.  It becomes more difficult to cloud the picture with deception when using this approach.

Knowing about concussions is one thing, but knowing that players may take advantage of the system is another factor.  Like anything else in this world people will look to exploit weaknesses in systems to gain an advantage.  After all isn’t that the crux of competition and sports?  We have seen Irv Muchnick open up the dialogue on Ritalin as a possible way to “cheat the system” and now Alex Marvez of Fox Sports tells us the other, more obvious way to “cheat the system”;

Dr. Daniel Amen, who has treated current and former players for post-concussion symptoms, said some of his clients have confessed to fudging the initial baseline tests administered by NFL teams. By doing so, Amen said those players are seeking quicker clearance to return from any future head injuries they might suffer.

If the baseline tests are to be used to compare then why try hard and excel at them, only to have that first test hinder their return?  This is the common question that the professional and adolescent athletes are dealing with.  Even though baseline tests, be it neurocognitive computer based or hand written like the SCAT2 or the new NFL test, are objective Continue reading

Colorado Legislation Most Far-Reaching

The Colorado legislation on concussions was a step further than most when it was going through the chambers, it is now set to be the most far-reaching on the books when signed by the Governor.  As reported by 9news of Denver most of the legislation deals with the high school student and fails to protect or educate sports outside of this realm.  Colorado is going further, by addressing the middle school aged kids and non-school sanctioned sports;

Colorado becomes the 13th state to require concussion training in youth sports. But unlike the majority of the other states that require training only for school-related athletics, Colorado would also include younger activities such as Little League baseball and Pop Warner football. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper planned to sign the training into law Tuesday.

The Colorado legislation is named after Jake Snakenberg who lost his life after returning too soon from a concussion.

This is something that we have addressed here on this blog, especially as it relates to Illinois.  It is a good START to address a particular section of the youth playing sports, but it would be nearsighted to not include mechanisms for other student-athletes not participating in school sports, for what ever reason.

Speaking of Illinois, HB200 that moved to the senate is now in the process of being melded with SB150 to include park districts, which is another step in the right direction.  But Colorado has taken the lead on this, including younger participants and club sports is a MUCH better starting point.

I am proud to be a Colorado Native, and hope that this will fall on the legislation of Illinois as well.

Thanks to my mom for sending this along!