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Ohio may improve concussion protections for student athletes

Parents have shown increasing concern over the possibility of their student athletes sustaining a concussion in recent years as more research comes out about the causes and effects of traumatic brain injury. Ohio lawmakers have been listening and are working on proposed legislation that could better protect young athletes and put their parents' minds at ease.

The legislation could affect high school sports games and practices as soon as the spring sports season. Under the new law, players would have to be removed from a game or practice immediately upon showing signs of a concussion.

The bill passed the Ohio Senate with unanimous approval earlier this month. Pending House approval of changes made by the Senate, it should be before the Governor soon.

In addition to setting standards for removing athletes from play, the legislation would require that a student be cleared by a physician before returning. It would also require steps be taken to educate student athletes and their parents about traumatic brain injury and provide more education on the subject to coaches.

The Ohio Department of Health would develop informational materials for parents to review with their children. That information could include what a concussion is, common causes and warning signs to watch out for.

A traumatic brain injury can result in long-term damage and have lasting implications for student athletes' brain development. Depending on the circumstances and the athlete, effects could range from a mild headache that lasts a few days to long-term consequences that affect emotion, brain function or pain.

If you or a loved one have suffered a head injury as a result of someone else's negligence or inadequate protections, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. They can help you review your case, pursue any appropriate legal claims and focus on getting back to your life.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Ohio Senate passes student-athlete concussion bill," Jim Siegel, Dec. 5, 2012

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