Legislative Efforts to Reduce Concussions in Youth Sports: An Analysis of State Concussion Statutes
Sport-related concussions are a serious public health issue. While concussions are prevalent among all age groups, youth sport participants are at a greater risk of sustaining such injury due to their immature brain structure and the lack of concussion management policies at the organizational level compared with those found in intercollegiate and professional sports (Kim, Spengler, & Connaughton, 2016). To address this problem, legislation has been adopted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to mandate some of the standardized measures of concussion management. The purpose of this study was to review the existing state concussion statutes. The statutes were obtained via the LEXIS/NEXIS and West Law databases. Key categories were selected by the researchers and language was compared among statutes. Although the vast majority of concussion statutes shared some similarities, a comprehensive review revealed wide inconsistencies in language. Suggestions that promote more consistency among statutes on language that is beneficial to the safety of youth, as well as recommendations for possible amendments, are provided in the discussion.