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Ohio’s New Concussion Law

Concussion LawOhio’s youth concussion law is said to be one of the most stringent in the nation. The law took effect in April and covers all athletes age 19 and younger participating in organized sports.

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury and can be caused by a direct blow to the head, face or neck, or a blow elsewhere on the body, which transmits force to the brain.

“It’s more than just the collision,” says Hollie Kozak, M.Ed., A.T., manager of Summa Center for Sports Health. “It’s the fact that the head is jarred or twisted and the brain gets bounced around.”

During the past 15 years, studies and research into concussions has greatly increased, according to James Goff, D.O., a Summa sports medicine specialist. And he says the medical community has only scratched the surface.

“There is still a lot about concussions that we don’t know,” Dr. Goff points out. “Research going on today will change the way we take care of concussions during the next 10 to 15 years.”

The new Ohio law requires:

  • Mandatory education on the signs and symptoms of a concussion for parents, coaches and referees.
  • Athletes exhibiting signs, symptoms or behaviors of a concussion must be immediately removed from play and cannot return that day.
  • Athletes cannot return to play without clearance from a doctor of medicine (M.D.), doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) or other healthcare provider as outlined by the law.

Summa Center for Sports Health is taking a multi-prong approach to educating parents, educators, coaches and referees about the new state law.

Scholastic coaches. Summa athletic trainers teach a Pupil Activity Permit class, which all high school coaches are required to take. The class includes a discussion about concussions to make sure coaches understand the new law and their responsibilities.

Teachers and counselors. Summa sports medicine specialists offer an educational program for teachers and counselors so they can spot the signs and symptoms of a concussion, as well as to understand how a concussion affects a student academically.

Youth sports. Ohio’s law goes further than most states because it impacts youth sports. The law states that youth sports coaches must complete free online training through the Ohio Department of Health as a minimum requirement. Summa sports medicine specialists are available to meet with advisers, coaches and parents who participate in youth athletic programs.

Parents. Summa sports medicine specialists are available to speak at parent meetings about the new Ohio concussion law and how Summa treats concussions.

Physicians. Summa has collaborated with other Akron, Ohio-area healthcare providers to develop an educational program for primary care, emergency and other physicians.

Read more about Ohio’s new concussion law.

For more information about a Pupil Activity Permit class, call (800) 237-8662 or register online.

To schedule a same-day/next-day appointment, call the Summa Sports Health Physician referral line: (888) 778-6627.