In response to growing concerns about sports-related concussions and their long-term effects on young athletes, the Florida Legislature unanimously passed a bill to protect them. It will require coaches and others to remove players from a game or practice following a head injury and would prevent the student athlete from returning to competition until a doctor has cleared the player. The bill will now go before Governor Rick Scott to be signed into law.
The law will also require that concussion prevention measures be taken and that parents sign an informed consent form about the risk associated with concussions before a student can join a team.
The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) already has a similar policy for its student athletes in place and the new law would merely codify their protocols as well as require compliance from all other youth sports organizations in Florida. Currently, 34 other states have youth concussion policies.
The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Ronald Renuart (R-Ponte Vera Beach), said that he knows that some parents are skeptical about the bill, but emphasized that a child’s brain needs time to heal and that getting back in to a game should always be secondary to a child’s health.
According to one study, though parents may assume that a child’s brain is more resilient than an adult’s, they are wrong. Even 6 to 8 months after a concussion, the researchers found marked memory deficits in children. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries every year and 52,000 result in death.
Protecting the Rights of TBI Victims
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is serious business, so the Florida brain injury attorneys at Farah & Farah applaud any law designed to monitor TBI in Florida’s children and to protect them from its potentially serious long-term effects. Committed to helping those injured due to another’s negligence obtain the compensation they deserve, the lawyers at Farah & Farah can help you during this challenging time.