Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill Tuesday that sets standards for how schools treat student-athletes who have suffered concussions.
Deal signed House Bill 284 the Return to Play Act of 2013 which develops return-to-play policies for student athletes who suffer concussions during games. The Atlanta Falcons worked along with legislators to make the bill a reality, according to a press release from the governors office.
Even the mildest bump or blow to the head can lead to a concussion, Deal said in the release. I am proud to sign this bill that serves to protect Georgias young athletes from sustaining very serious injuries if the condition goes unnoticed or untreated.
The legislation proposes three principles: education, recognition and return to play.
The bill requires local boards of education, governing bodies of nonpublic schools and governing bodies of state charter schools to implement a concussion policy. The policy must provide a concussion form to parents and/or guardians. Athletes must be removed from the sport if they show signs or symptoms of a concussion. A student-athlete cant return to play unless they are cleared by a doctor.
The bill also requires public recreation leagues to provide a concussion form to parents and encourages those leagues to use all aspects of the bill.
Forty-three states have youth concussion laws and others have pending legislation, according to the release.