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1/31/2018 Senator Lombardi introduces legislation that requires adult trained in concussions at youth sports events
STATE HOUSE — Sen. Frank S. Lombardi (D-Dist. 26, Cranston) has submitted legislation that would refine the law on guidelines for concussions at school and youth programs. The new law would require that an adult trained in recognizing the symptoms of a concussion be present during all events.

“As we learn more about the seriousness of head injuries, it is imperative we do what we can to ensure the safety of children playing sports,” said Senator Lombardi, who officiates college and high school soccer, and has seen first-hand the instances of trauma to the head without proper protocol in place at the field. “Not only should school nurses, coaches and other adults be kept up-to-date on the latest information about concussions, the time has come to mandate that someone with that training always be present during these activities.”

The bill (2018-S 2050) would change the law, which currently encourages an athletic trainer to be present at these events, to require the presence of someone specifically trained in concussion symptom recognition and evaluation.

Traumatic brain injury among youth athletes is a serious public health concern in the United States. In 2011, more than 55,000 high school football players and 29,000 young soccer players sustained concussions during practice or competition, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

The majority of existing youth sports-related concussion laws aim to raise concussion awareness among students, parents, coaches, and other school personnel, and prevent the harmful short- and long-term effects of a concussion. Twenty states, including Rhode Island, require coaches to be trained in youth sports concussion recognition and awareness.

The proposed legislation, which is cosponsored by Senators Erin Lynch Prata (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston), William J. Conley Jr. (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket), Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick) and Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere (R-Dist. 38, Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly), has been referred to the Senate Committee on Education.

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903