Medical OK Needed for Student Athletes to Resume Play After a Concussion
Student athletes suspected to have sustained a concussion are now required to receive a licensed health professional’s permission before they resume play. The new law that went into effect July 1 was co-sponsored by State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-24th) has been signed into law.
Dillard commended House Republican Leader Tom Cross and former Chicago Bears lineman Kurt Becker for pursuing House Bill 200/PA 97-0204, and drawing attention to the dangerous short-term and long-term effects of head injuries.
“There are many immediate dangers associated with concussions, but there have also been numerous studies that show head injuries sustained at a young age could lead to long-term health problems,” Dillard said. “The decision to resume play shouldn’t be determined by the coach or the players—it should be left up to a medical professional. My number one priority is that these kids are safe and healthy.”
The new law requires school boards to adopt guidelines on student athlete concussions and head injuries that comply with policies outlined by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). The IHSA recently approved a policy stipulating athletes can’t resume play until they receive attention and written permission from a licensed health care worker.
In an attempt to raise awareness about the dangers of concussions outside of school-related athletic and recreational events, House Bill 200 also requires school boards to make information on concussions available to coaches, student athletes and their parents. The new law encourages park districts to educate the public about head injuries and concussions.