State Senate okays bill to reduce concussions in youth sports

MADISON (AP) -- The state Senate has approved a bill designed to reduce concussions in youth sports.

The National Football League has been lobbying states to adopt laws requiring athletes be immediately removed from their activity if they are suffering from a head injury.

The bill would require the state and the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association to educate players, coaches and parents about concussions. Athletes who suffer apparent head injuries would have to be removed from practice or games. They would be prohibited from returning until they get a medical examination.

The passage of the bill was applauded by the President of the Wisconsin Medical Society, George Lange, MD, FACP. He said, “The State Senate took a major positive step today in passing Assembly Bill 259. The bill not only ensures that youth athletes will receive special attention if a concussion is suspected, but it also will provide vital concussion-related education to coaches, parents and athletes. The more we learn about concussions and how athletes are affected by them, the more physicians want to help ensure our young patients receive the best chance to fully recover from suspected head injuries.”

The Senate passed the bill on a voice vote Tuesday with no debate. The Assembly passed the bill in November. It goes next to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.