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House Bill 2060, introduced this year by Pennsylvania Congressman Tim Briggs, would place tighter restrictions on student-athletes between grades 7 and 12, preventing them from returning to practice or games too quickly after sustaining a head or brain injury. Under H.B, 2060, student-athletes who sustain a concussion or head injury would not be allowed to participate again until being cleared by a licensed health professional.
The new rules would apply to students in all Pennsylvania schools, both public and private.
The bill also requires student-athletes, parents and coaches to be educated in regards to head and brain injuries. Parents would be required to sign a “concussion and head information sheet” prior to their child’s athletic participation each year.
The main goals of the bill, to educate those involved with school sports and to prevent serious brain injury, follow closely on the heels of a similar bill passed in Washington State. Across the country, the dangers faced by young athletes who return to action too soon following a head injury or concussion have been getting a fair amount of coverage.
This is due, in part, to the growing number of stories regarding young athletes who have suffered head injuries, then returned to a game or practice without being adequately evaluated. These stories, combined with scientific studies have pushed lawmakers across the country to consider the issue.
So far, the bill has been endorsed by most of Pennsylvania’s pro sports teams, including the Philadelphia Eagles, Phillies, Flyers and Sixers. Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates have also voiced support for the measure.