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Proponents of Concussion Bill Say Law Will Help Children

By Paul Boger | Published 24 Jan 2014 05:42pm | comments
Mississippi is preparing to implement a law focused on preventing concussions in youth sports. MPB's Paul Boger reports officials in the healthcare community are applauding the passage of the bill.
 
A bill aimed at preventing concussions in youth sports in Mississippi has received nearly unanimous support in both Chambers of the legislature, and is expected to be signed by Governor Phil Bryant in the near future.
 
Lee Jenkins is with the Brain Injury Institute of Mississippi. She's been working to get this law passed for three years.
 
"We're real excited to have a law; to get a bill that's going to be signed by the Governor, ad not to be the only state without a concussion law." said Jenkins.
 
Under the legislation, any athlete who reports or show signs of a concussion must be removed from a practice or game for at least one day, and won't be allowed to return to practice or competition until cleared by a health provider.
 
Doctor Lee Voulters, a neurologist with the Mississippi State Medical Association, says the law will help prevent the serious health problems associated with multiple concussions.
 
"Our high school students playing sports, particularly our football players, who get concussions do not have the protections or protocols in place to protect them from serious heard injuries that college and professional athletes have." said Dr. Voulters. "That age group, the young age group, is much more perceptible to concussion and long term problems from concussions."
 
However, Jenkins feels like the bill is still lacking, and wishes it covered more children. 
 
"We're happy we're getting it." reiterated Jenkins. "If there were anything that we wish could have gone a little bit further is the age range. This bill is covering athletes from 7th to 12th grade. The difference would be that they would cover recreational leagues as well."
 
Mississippi is the last state in the nation to adopt youth concussion laws. Similar bills had previously been introduced in the legislature, but failed each of the last two sessions.

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