Youth will soon have additional safeguards against concussions, legislator says

Youth in Connecticut will soon have additional safeguards against concussions, according to one of Trumbull’s representatives in Hartford.

Legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Dave Rutigliano (Trumbull), “House Bill 6722, An Act Concerning Concussions in Youth Athletics,” passed recently in the House Chamber. It will now be referred to the State Senate for a vote.

The bill requires athletic activity operators to make annual written or electronic statements on concussions available to every youth participating in athletics and to parents or guardians.

The statement must include information on:

• Concussion signs or symptom recognition
• Cow to obtain medical treatment for someone suspected of sustaining a concussion
• The nature of concussions and their risks, including the danger of continuing to engage in athletic activity after sustaining a concussion
• Proper procedures for allowing athletes who sustained concussions to return to athletic activity.

“My kids take part in youth athletic activities and as a parent, I worry,” Rutigliano said. “This bill won’t keep accidents from happening, but it will help educate everyone about the seriousness of concussions, and the importance of getting medical treatment right away.
“I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to testify in support of this bill and the previous concussion bill passed last year,” he said. “Trumbull resident Natalie Intemann, and many others brought this subject close to home and helped us see the importance of getting these laws passed.”

After being injured in an accident in her gym class in 2011, Intemann was diagnosed with a concussion. She spent many months rehabilitating when her injury could have been prevented by legislation requirements or treated with better medical care.

Intemann joined dozens of organizations and individuals to testify in support of the 2014 concussion bill, last year
The 2014 bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Rutigliano, was signed into law last May and is one of the most comprehensive athlete concussion awareness and prevention pieces of legislation in the United States, according to his office.

According the law, Connecticut coaches are required to attend training courses, and refresher courses on concussions and head injuries prior to starting their coaching assignments.

Coaches must immediately remove students from activities if they exhibit concussion symptoms, and must not allow them to rejoin activities until written clearance is received by a licensed health care professional. Coaches in violation of the new law can have their coaching permits revoked by the state Board of Education.