Even in 2019, there is a lack of standardized protocols and plans following a concussion injury. Every school district, state or sports organization is coming up with their own laws and regulations to safeguard the youth athletic players against brain injuries. This lack of standardization poses a lot of problems, something I will dive deep into in my future posts.
Well as for now, after Wisconsin and California, next in line is New Mexico Department of Health to come up with a proposal to minimize head injury and concussion risk. They believe that educational training to understand the consequences of a concussion and to detect its signs and symptoms is critical. Additionally, the believe this training should not only be mandated to coaches, but also to parents and athletic players age 11 and above.
If passed, this proposal will require annual training about concussions for all. It would begin with the children signing a form on a prevention training session that aligns with the standards from the U.S Centers for Disease control and Prevention.
State senator and high school teacher Bill Soules believes that New Mexico has always been proactive in their measures against concussion and have taken multiple efforts to keep its risk at a minimum.
He stated, “It is important for students to have awareness about the symptoms of concussion because sometimes they do not appear or become clinically relevant for up to two hours after the injury, by when the coach is long gone”
This new proposal will be part of a revision process on the already existing guidelines that have been followed by many statewide youth sport organizations affiliated with national governing bodies, such as the New Mexico Youth Soccer that oversees a long list of clubs and leagues across the state.
In 2017, Bill added that a legislation for extended training and education for student athletes was already sponsored after students stated that they felt left out of decisions about concussions in athletics.
Gloria Faber, executive director of New Mexico Youth Soccer also gave her two cents on this ongoing issue.
She states that new rules and proposals are especially of significance for non-scholastic athletes as their parents enroll them into these sports at a younger age and also a lot of coaches are in-fact parent volunteers.
The highlight of the new proposed rule is that there will be a standard sit-out period for symptoms of a concussion or brain injury – of at least 10 days and players will return only after a written medical release.
The public hearing is scheduled for Aug 20th 2019 and it will be called “Mandatory Concussion Recognition, Response and Prevention Education”