New Jersey adopts new regulations for student-athletes who suffer head injuries

News 12 The Bronx

September 24, 2021

State lawmakers want students to play it safe when returning to sports after a head injury. New legislation went into effect on Friday.

The new law requires school districts to revise their policies on the prevention and treatment of sports-related concussions and other head injuries.

“Having a step-by-step guidance that the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] has in place for return to sports is key in making sure that our kids are safe, especially as their brains are developing and growing into adulthood,” says emergency room physician Dr. Sampson Davis.

The revisions will have to include the CDC’s six-step “Return to Play Progression” plan.

“Whatever we need to do to keep our children safe, if it means adding layers of protection, I’m for it,” says parent Kay Lucky.

The six steps include returning to school, light aerobic activity, moderate activity, heavy activity with no contact, practice with contact and finally, competition.

“What we have seen, with sports especially, is that you cannot have a concussion on top of a concussion. So, you cannot return to sports so fast that the brain is not healed,” says Davis. “It’s similar to going out and playing on a sprained ankle.”

The CDC says students who suffer from a concussion or other head injuries should not return to competition or practice until they can first return to regular school activities and show no symptoms. They must also be evaluated by a doctor.

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