Wisconsin school districts would be required to take student athletes off the field and out of practices if they suspect they have a concussion, under a bill approved by both chambers of the Wisconsin legislature. The Sidelined for Safety Act (AB 259), authored by State Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and State Representative Jason Fields (D-Milwaukee), is intended to help protect kids before they suffer multiple concussions.
Under the bill, young athletes would not be allowed to start playing again until they have been cleared by a health care professional. The bill also requires training for activity organizers to help them identify injuries that can cause a concussion and the symptoms of one.
According to a release from Darling’s office, the bill does the following:
• Coaches and Parents of children participating in organized athletics up to age 19 will receive information on concussions which will need to be signed and returned in order to participate.
• A player pulled from a game with a suspected concussion can’t return until they have been cleared by a health care professional that is trained in concussion evaluation and management.
• The Department of Public Instruction will provide the information to parents and coaches in consultation with the WIAA.
The legislation is now ready for Governor Scott Walker’s signature. When enacted, Wisconsin will become the 32nd state with such provisions in place.