Concussion law protects all athletes, not just contact sportsPublished 9:34pm Monday, September 9, 2013
The world famous philosopher Siddhartha Gautama once said “To navigate safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and guidance of virtue provided by a pure and peaceful mind,” when speaking on the importance of the human brain.
As it pertains to sports at all levels, especially youth, in Michigan, the state government is in agreement with Mr. Gautama’s belief. Protection of the mind, be it from negative thoughts and actions or repeated physical abuses, require the brain to be protected at all costs.
On June 30 of this year, Actions Under Public Acts 342 and 343, otherwise known as the “Concussion Law” went into effect. The law requires teachers, coaches and organizational volunteers to complete online training courses through either the Michigan Department of Community Health or Centers for Disease Control websites.
It also demands that each individual sport organization provide educational training material to both their participants (of all ages), and parents for those who are under 18-years of age. Recipients of the materials are asked to sign receipts that each organization will be able to show as proof of compliance with the law.
On the front line of compliance for this new law in the Niles area is Krush Volleyball founder and director Dennis Cooper. Participants of Krush are all educated on both the potential risks of getting concussions and being able to identify the symptoms of one when needed.
“We are a youth development program and it’s a real critical thing to make sure we keep these kids safe. Everyone in our program, I don’t care if they’re 8 years-old, will get the training that is required and sign the release form before they take the court,” Cooper said.
Cooper also said he was “proud” that the state was taking the initiative to keep sports participants of all ages safe.
“Concussions can sometimes be tough to diagnose during an event because kids won’t always say anything is wrong. Now they know what to look out for and so do we as coaches and parents. This was a really positive step the state took for the protection of our children.”