Contact: Adam Joseph
September 23, 2010
Hartford: Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney (D-New Haven) and Senator Thomas Gaffey (D-Meriden), Senate Chair of the state’s Education Committee, welcome news that Connecticut’s landmark concussion bill is serving as a model for national legislation that was considered today by the House Education and Labor Committee.
According to the Education and Labor Committee, “The bill would establish minimum standards in K-12 schools on concussion safety and management, including educating students, parents and school personnel about how to recognize and respond to concussions.” Click here for more information on the Protecting Student Athletes from Concussion Act.
“The fact that Congress is considering enacting national legislation based on our law is validation for all the coaches and parents who worked so hard to get our initiative approved,” said Senator Looney. “We’ve taken significant steps to protect our student-athletes from the effects of concussions and I’m pleased our action is serving as a national model.”
“After several high-profile concussions in Major League Baseball, with action at the highest levels of the National Football League, and now with a bill under consideration in Congress, we know there is undeniable momentum at the national level to raise awareness about the risk associated with head injuries and a serious effort underway to prevent them,” Senator Gaffey said. “It’s gratifying to know Connecticut already has a law on the books to safeguard students from what can be life-altering repercussions of sports-related concussions.”
Representatives from the National Football League (NFL), the Children’s National Medical Center, and former professional football players spoke in favor of the bill at today’s hearing in Washington, D.C. Committee members said the legislation is modeled after laws that were passed in other states, including Connecticut.
Senators Looney and Gaffey sponsored state legislation that ultimately became Public Act 10-62, “An Act Concerning Student Athletes and Concussions”. The state law affects student safety in two fundamental ways:
National statistics indicate that more than 40 percent of high school athletes who suffer concussions return to play before it is safe to do so. A new study from researchers at Brown University also shows that the number of emergency department visits caused by children’s concussions more than doubled in the last 10 years. From 2001 to 2005, about 502,000 emergency visits came from concussions in children between the ages of 8 and 13 years of age.
The report found that approximately half of these 500,000 emergency department visits were from concussions related to organized sports and that the concussion rates were highest for hockey (10 per 10,000 participating children) and football (eight per 10,000 participating children). Research also shows that similar concussion rates occur in soccer and basketball.
(for both senators)
Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
See more news releases by Senator Williams.
See more news releases by Senator Looney.