California taking action in response to rising rate of concussions in youth sports

A study published in the Journal of Athletic Training found that U.S. high schools' fourth-highest rate of concussions occurs in girls basketball while concussions are on the rise across youth sports. In response, California has passed legislation requiring coaches to be trained in how to recognize and respond to concussions.

This is "old news", but with high school basketball season approaching, it's relevant.

Back in August, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1451 into law, which required high school coaches to receive training about concussions, as reported by Jim Sanders of the Sacramento Bee.

Assembly Bill 1451 requires high school coaches to receiving training every two years on recognizing the signs of concussions and responding to them appropriately. The training can be acquired online.

Democratic Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi of Castro Valley proposed the bill, which will take effect Jan. 1.

Tom Sheridan of the Californian describes why renewing training every two years is so important, even though it might just seem like one more burden that coaches have to endure.

The proposed concussion training would also occur every two years. An analysis of AB 1451 on the Official California Legislative web site (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov) noted, "This renewal requirement is important because the strategies for dealing with head injuries are often changing."

According to that bill analysis, and also described in the video above, girls basketball has the fourth-highest rate of concussions.

According to a nationwide study published in the Journal of Athletic Training, football has the highest rate of concussions in high school sports with 47 concussions occurring per 100,000 player games or practices. Girls soccer has the second highest rate of concussions in high school sports with 36 concussions occurring per 100,000 player games or practices. Boys soccer and girls basketball have the third and fourth highest rate of concussions in high school sports with 22 and 21 concussions per 100,000 player games or practices, respectively...Although most headlines focus on the deterioration of major football stars, youth are also gravely at risk because of their developing brains.

California is not necessarily unique in approaching the problem with legislation: Patrick Sheltra of the Magic Valley Times-News reported back in August that, "Already, 38 states have passed legislation identical to the Lystedt Law, with legislation pending in five more."

For more on the issue, Athletic Mouthguard, a site dedicated to the coverage of stories about concussions in sports, has a great collection of articles the growing problem and what states are doing about it.

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