§ 16-91-1. Findings of fact.
The general assembly hereby finds and declares: (1) Concussions are one of the most commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational activities. A concussion is caused by a blow or motion to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull. The risk of catastrophic injuries or death is significant when a concussion or head injury is not properly evaluated and managed.
(2) Concussions are a type of brain injury that can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works. Concussions can occur in any organized or unorganized sport or recreational activity and can result from a fall or from players colliding with each other, the ground, or with obstacles. Concussions occur with or without loss of consciousness, but the vast majority occurs without loss of consciousness.
(3) Continuing to play with a concussion or symptoms of a head injury leaves the young athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury and even death. The general assembly also recognizes that, despite having generally recognized return-to-play standards for concussion and head injury, some affected youth athletes are prematurely returned to play resulting in actual or potential physical injury or death to youth athletes in the state of Rhode Island.
(4) Concussions can occur in any sport or recreational activity, furthermore, symptoms of concussions may manifest themselves after the injury during school hours and in the classroom setting. All school nurses, coaches, parents, and athletes shall be advised of the signs and symptoms of concussions as well as the protocol for treatment.
(P.L. 2010, ch. 21, § 1; P.L. 2010, ch. 22, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 370, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 401, § 1.)