Concussion Policy Passes TN Senate Committee - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Concussion Policy Passes TN Senate Committee

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by Emily Luxen

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Legislation aimed at protecting young athletes from concussions is headed to the Senate floor.

Senate bill 882, was approved 8-0 in the Senate Education Committee Wednesday.  The legislation would require anyone associated with athletes under 18, to complete a concussion recognition course, have a policy of removing kids from action if they show symptoms of a concussion, and not allow the athletes to return to action until they are cleared by a doctor.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville believes it is a necessary step to help keep kids safe.

"I think it educates the public now that we are serious about concussions and about the health of our young people," said Sen. Tracy.

NFL Senior Vice President of Labor Policy and Government Affairs, Adolpho Birch, testified before the committee in support of the bill. He said the league supports such legislation because it can make a big difference.

"We have seen the effects of states who have passed it," said Birch. "They have noticed a reduction in number of concussions, and certainly a reduction of negative consequences of concussions."

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports from 2001-2009, concussions among youth increased 60%.  Sen. Tracy said as the problem increases, it is time for Tennessee to join 42 other states and the District of Columbia and pass these requirements.

"It's a great bill for the safety of young people in the state of Tennessee," said Sen. Tracy.

The bill will likely go before the full Senate  sometime next week.

Email: eluxen@newschannel5.com
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