School and Youth Programs Concussion Act

SECTION 16-91-3

   § 16-91-3  School district's guidelines to be developed and implemented. – (a) The department of education and the department of health shall work in concert with the Rhode Island Interscholastic League to develop and promulgate guidelines to inform and educate coaches, youth athletes, and their parents and/or guardians of the nature and risk of concussion and head injury including continuing to play after concussion or head injury. A concussion and head injury information sheet shall be signed and returned by the youth athlete and the athlete's parent and/or guardian prior to the youth athlete's return to practice or competition.

   (b) School districts are required to use training materials made available by the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention entitled "Heads Up: Concussion in the High School Sports/Concussion in Youth Sports" and any updates or amendments thereto, or training materials substantively and substantially similar thereto. The department of education shall post training materials made available by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on its website. All coaches and volunteers involved in a youth sport or activity covered by this chapter must complete a training course and a refresher course annually thereafter in concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Training may consist of videos, classes, and any other generally accepted mode and medium of providing information. School districts are encouraged to have school nurses complete a training course in concussions and traumatic brain injuries.

   (c) School districts are encouraged to have all student athletes perform baseline neuropsychological testing, computerized or otherwise. Parents and/or guardians shall be provided with information as to the risk of concussion and/or traumatic brain injuries prior to the start of every sport season and they shall sign an acknowledgement as to their receipt of such information.

   (d) A youth athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game shall be removed from competition at that time.

   (e) A youth athlete, who has been removed from play, may not return to play until the athlete is evaluated by a licensed physician who may consult with an athletic trainer, all of whom shall be trained in the evaluation and management of concussions. The athlete must receive written clearance to return to play from that licensed physician.

   (f) All school districts are encouraged to have an athletic trainer or similarly trained person at all recreational and athletic events addressed by this statute.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2010, ch. 21, § 1; P.L. 2010, ch. 22, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 227, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 237, § 1.)