The Michigan House of Representatives has approved House Bill 5697, which requires coaches to immediately remove an athlete from play if a concussion is suspected, and return only after written authorization from an appropriate health professional.
“As more research is done on the potential long-term effects of sports-related head injuries, we must do all we can to make sure young people stay safe,” said state Rep. Mark Ouimet, who played high school and college football. “Students are growing both physically and mentally, and no sport or game is worth a possible life-long disability.”
Along with Senate Bill 1222, HB 5697 requires the Michigan Department of Community Health to develop materials and training for Michigan athletes, parents and coaches on concussion-related injuries and treatments.
“Parents and young people need to know that there are substantial risks involved if a player is allowed to continue playing after receiving a head injury,” Ouimet said. “The public service message of ‘when in doubt, sit it out’ should resonate with all parents of student-athletes. My hope is that this legislation becomes law as soon as possible.”
Dexter (Mich.) Athletic Director Mike Bavineau encouraged school districts to have “trainers on site,” which “takes a lot of pressure off of the coaches.”
With its passage, the legislation awaits the approval of the Governor.