New Law Creates Concussion Policy For Student Athletes - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

New Law Creates Concussion Policy For Student Athletes

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A new law in Georgia will help protect your student athlete from a serious injury. Governor Nathan Deal signed the Return-to-Play Act which creates a statewide policy on monitoring concussions closely.

The new law requires both public and private schools to create a policy that includes providing parents with an information sheet on the risks of a concussion prior to the beginning of each athletic season, removing an athlete from play if they show signs of a concussion, and requiring a healthcare provider to clear the athlete before they can return to play.

Athletic trainers who serve the Savannah Chatham County Public School System say they are already ahead of the curve because they follow those requirements.

Athletic trainers from local hospitals are on hand at every practice and game.

"There are times when she or he will recognize something that a coach  may not recognize because our mind is on the game and he or she will say I think we need to pull them to do a further evaluation or talk to see if something is wrong," said Savannah High Coach, David Jackson.

This safety practice has come a far way.

"If a kid comes to the sidelines says their head hurts in the past it was go get some water come back when you feel better and you can't take any of that lightly and we do not if somebody has a big hit and they come over even if they don't look right they are going to be checked out," said Athletic Director for SCCPSS, Mark Stroud.

One of those people checking to make sure your kid is alright is Daniel Hinely. The athletic trainer said it's not only important to catch concussion symptoms on the field but also off of it.

"Anytime there's a loss of consciousness after a hit but also dizziness, nausea, if an athlete is bothered by light or noise, or if an athlete begins to vomit uncontrollably," said Hinely.

Besides having an athlete sit out if there is concussion symptoms, further tests might have to be done before the athletic trainer will clear the player to come back

"If it's pretty severe, there's any loss of consciousness, we recommend they get a CT scan or an MRI to determine if there is any bleeding in the brain," said Hinely.

Hinely says its important concussions get treated properly otherwise your student's athletic career could be cut short.

"Neurological disorders, amnesia, depression, things such as that," said Hinely.  


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