Kentucky Extends Concussion Training to Middle School Coaches
Gov. Steve Beshear has signed a bill into law, HB281, that extends mandatory concussion training to all coaches involved in inter-scholastic athletics. Kentucky previously only required high school coaches to undergo training related to preventing and treating common injuries. The Commonwealth now joins 35 other states that have passed some form of state-wide concussion legislation. Most of those states are supported by the National Football League, which focuses on the three main principals from Lystedt Law model legislation.
- Inform and educate youth athletes, their parents and guardians and require them to sign a concussion information form;
- Removal of a youth athlete who appears to have suffered a concussion from play or practice at the time of the suspected concussion; and
- Requiring a youth athlete to be cleared by a licensed health care professional trained the evaluation and management of concussions before returning to play or practice.
The new law will require every coach to undergo annual training to be able to identify and treat concussions beginning next school year and it will require one trained coach to be at each practice or game. But some districts like Jefferson County Public Schools have already taken steps to increase awareness and treatment. “Everybody out there should have had the training, so its not a matter of one coach per team has had this training. We expect all of ours to have it,” said JCPS athletic director Jerry Wyman. Last year, JCPS extended its campaign to raise awareness about concussions and added educational posters around middle and high schools. “What we are doing now, and what we will continue to do, is more than what’s required. But we’re not going to step back and do less,” said Wyman.