New Hampshire’s new concussion law, which goes into effect next week, extends beyond just high school student athletes to cover grade schoolers participating in any intramural or competitive sport.
The law, which was signed into law by Gov. Maggie Hassan in May, is being embraced by athletic department officials.
“It’s great for middle school athletes to be included,” Alvirne High School athletic director Karen Bonney told the Keene Sentinel. “This isn’t a sprained ankle, this is a far more serious injury that needs to be addressed. I can’t imagine any district not willing to make this happen.”
The paper went on to note more and more districts in the region are using ImPACT testing to help determine when athletes are ready to return to the field.
St. Joseph Hospital’s Dr. Ted Davis said that “while the testing system is most popular among high school athletes in contact sports, younger athletes are also beginning to use the tool as awareness of the dangers of concussions grows.”
It’s a good thing, according to Milford High School athletic director Marc Maurais.
“Certainly there is a great amount of contact that does take place at that younger age,” Maurais said. “There’s all different factors. Are they getting the proper techniques? What type of condition are they in, and their equipment? I agree that to start at the earlier age would be wise.”