Gov. Kasich Signs Concussion Bill

Posted on: 6:40 pm, December 20, 2012, by , updated on: 06:44pm, December 20, 2012

House Bill 143, better known as the concussion bill, is now officially signed by Governor John Kasich and will be law in time for youth sports this spring.

One of the bill sponsors, State Rep. Sean O’Brien, tells FOX 8 he believes this law will better protect the state’s young athletes.

“Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, we are learning from medical research are affecting thousands of children.  By bringing this legislation out there, it is giving parents, coaches and referees information about TBIs,” O’Brien said.

The bill received support from healthcare providers, athletes, and both Republicans and Democrats.

The bill requires young athletes to be pulled from a game if they show signs of a concussion.  Under this bill, they also can’t return to the field if they show any signs of a concussion.

One of the important aspects about this bill is that it mandates that coaches and referees know the signs and symptoms of a concussion.

“Look for things like staggering, getting up slow, confusion, not lining up right for a play,” said Dr. Edward Benzel, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Cleveland Clinic.  He added that the bill is a step in the right direction.

“The people affected by this bill, much more vulnerable than college or professional players because their brains are in the formative years and still being developed,” Benzel said.

The bill will become law in 90 days.