Protections Against Youth Concussions Becomes Law

Moylan-Sponsored Legislation Increasing Protections Against Youth Concussions Becomes Law

DES PLAINES, Ill. – Legislation co-sponsored by state Rep. Marty Moylan, D-Des Plaines, to limit the long term impacts of youth concussions was signed into law by the governor in time for the approaching high school football season.

“Young athletes have an incredible drive and desire to return to action as quickly as possible after an injury,” said Moylan. “We need to make sure the law protects their long term health and requires them to fully heal before returning to action.”

Senate Bill 7 requires students who have suffered a concussion to receive written consent from a physician before participating in athletic activities. Additionally, school districts must create committees to oversee procedures related to head injuries, including when students are eligible to return to athletic competition. This may include a district implementing a limited contact policy for players returning from concussions.

The dangers of concussions have received increased public scrutiny in recent years. Former National Football League Most Valuable Player Kurt Warner has publically stated that he is concerned about his children’s safety when they play football because of the long term health risks. National Basketball Association superstar LeBron James has also said that he does not want his sons playing football out of concern for their long term wellbeing. Earlier in 2015, an episode of HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” profiled members of the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears team, and many suffer from debilitating health problems stemming from their playing days. The head coach of that team, Mike Ditka, said if he had a young child he would not allow him to play football.

While football has received the most attention related to youth concussions, the new law applies to all sports.

“The science is clear: multiple concussions at a young age can lead to a total destruction of a person’s health later in life,” said Moylan. “We have to take preventive steps early in an athlete’s life to prevent irreparable brain damage.”