New Hampshire Governor John Lynch signed SB 402 this morning at the State House enacting an important new piece of legislature involving concussions. The bill encourages high school athletic programs to develop concussion guidelines and to educate coaches, student-athletes as well as parents on the recognition and risks associated with concussions.
The bill also calls for the immediate removal of any student-athlete from play if a concussion is suspected. The new law requires medical clearance and written authorization from a health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussions as well as parental written permission for return to play.
There is an estimated 300,000 sports related concussions in the United States every year and 15% of all high school sport injuries are concussions. New Hampshire joins 38 other states that have legislation directed at concussion education and safety. This bill is an important first step in raising concussion awareness and in keeping our student-athletes as safe as possible.
Representatives from Access Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics, including Dr. Kevin Heaton and Eric Cimon, were invited to attend the bill signing as both have been involved with the NH Advisory Council for Sports-Related Concussions. The NH Advisory Council is a group comprised of medical professionals with a focus on education and the development of concussion policy at the state level.