Some Missouri lawmakers are trying to take steps to expand concussion and brain injury awareness to more youth sporting organizations. Missouri’s proposed brain injury education bill, which is under consideration in the state House of Representatives, builds on previous legislation dating from 2011. That law already requires that student athletes in 7th through 12th grades be given training and information related to the risk of a sports-related brain injury. The new bill would extend these requirements to include more young athletes and coaches.
What Does Missouri’s New Bill Include?
The proposed brain injury education bill would range beyond just public school sports to include municipal teams and organizations not associated with schools. It would also require awareness education for younger students and their parents. Coaches of all of these sports would be required to complete annual training courses designed to increase brain injury awareness.
Sports-related brain injury is a very real problem, especially for athletes like football and soccer players. Still, opponents of the bill fear that additional training and requirements for coaches could mean a decrease in extracurricular sports throughout the state. They argue that the bill should be restricted to only public school programs.
However, research has shown again and again that concussions are especially dangerous for children and that the damage caused by multiple concussions can last a lifetime. Proponents of the bill say that parents and children should be warned about these risks before they choose to participate in a sport. This information would also help coaches and parents understand how to treat a concussion in case an athlete takes a hit to the head. Concussion education is an important step toward keeping athletes of all ages safe from more serious brain injury.
Our Illinois and Missouri personal injury lawyers have helped hundreds of clients seek compensation after traumatic brain injury. Call us today for a free consultation.