Category: Public Policy
The Michigan summer sports season is well under way but it is worth mentioning that there are laws governing youth sports activities and resources for the prevention, detection, and recovery from sport injuries. Michigan is the 39th U.S. state to enact laws (Public Act 137) regulating sports concussions and athletic activity which became effective June 30, 2013 and amended in October 2017. The law requires all coaches, volunteers, employees, and other adults involved in the youth athletic activity or sports program to complete concussion awareness training which is available online and must be renewed every three (3) years. Re-training requirements are determined by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Concussions are a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) which can be mild to very serious caused by a blow or jolt to the head or body that jerks the head and brain rapidly back and forth. Concussions are typically sustained in sports, falls, motor vehicle accidents, assaults, and other incidents but cannot be detected on brain imaging technology such as Cat Scans (CT Scans) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The sudden jolt of the brain causing it to bounce around or twist can lead to chemical changes or sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells. Still medical professionals generally consider them mild brain injuries and non-life threatening.
The organizing entity (sports program) is required by law to provide the necessary training and educational materials on the signs, symptoms and consequences of concussions to participating youth and their parents/guardians. Parents/guardians are required to sign a consent acknowledging the receipt of training materials and resources. Athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion must also be immediately removed from a sporting activity and not allowed to return until the receipt of a written clearance from an appropriate health professional. The law excludes individuals age 17 and enrolled solely in an institution of higher learning. Follow the links below for more information on Michigan legislation and training resources. Please feel free to share your experience with injuries as a result of your youth participating in summer sports, it may be helpful to someone else.
Michigan Concussion Laws
Michigan’s Sports Concussion Law: Compliance Checklist
Youth Sports Training
High School Sports Training: Concussion in Sports
CDC: Opportunities to Reshape the Culture Around Concussions in Sports
REAP the Benefits of Good Concussion Management (2013)
Recovering from Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries/Concussion
Welcome to The Community Advocate Network. My name is Deborah Mitchell, I am a graduate in Social Work and Registered Social Work Technician. My human service background began in 2007 which includes medical case management and service navigation for the indigent population, outpatient mental health counseling with substance use and abuse disorders, supportive employment and job development for mental health consumers, and structured living domicile management.