Ronald W. Ramirez, Attorney at Law

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New York schools respond to concussion hazards among student athletes

We've previously written blogs about the many and adverse side effects often experienced by traumatic brain injury victims. From memory loss and vision problems to mental and emotional changes and disturbances, a brain injury can significantly impact an individual's ability to live independently and to enjoy and participate in life.

When suffered during one's child or teen years, the effects of a TBI can be particularly damaging and life-altering. This is due in part to the fact that a child’s or adolescent's brain is still developing. In recent years, there's been increased awareness and focus about sport-related TBIs and especially concussions that are suffered on the fields and courts of primary and secondary schools.

In an effort to aid in the prompt diagnosis and treatment of concussions and to ensure student athletes don't return to play too soon, in 2011, the Concussion Management and Awareness Act was signed into law in New York State.

To raise awareness about concussions and the related side effects, the CMAA requires that every student athlete and his or her parent is provided and signs a form that details information about concussions and the dangers posed to student athletes. Additionally, on a bi-annual basis; coaches, teachers and school nurses are required to attend concussion training and, annually, to establish a concussion management team. The CMAA also outlines protocols for when student athletes suffer concussions which relate to removal from and medical clearance for return to play.

At any age, suffering a concussion can have a devastating and long-lasting effect on one's physical, mental and emotional health. For a child or adolescent, the full extent of the damaging effects that result from a concussion are often more difficult to gauge and children who suffer one or more concussions should be closely monitored by a medical provider.

Source:, "Youth Sports Concussion Safety Laws: New York," Aug. 28, 2014

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