New Jersey - Concussion/head injuries: Policy requirement

Area: 
Policy Or Plan Requirements
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law addresses concussions/return to play.

New Jersey Statutes 18A:40-41.1 Findings, declarations relative to head injuries of student athletes.

  1. A concussion is caused by a blow or motion to the head or body that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain, and can cause significant and sustained neuropsychological impairments including, but not limited to, problem solving, planning, memory, and behavioral problems;
    • b. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 300,000 concussions are sustained during sports-related activity in the United States, and more than 62,000 concussions are sustained each year in high-school contact sports;
    • c. Although concussions are one of the most commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational activities, little effort and resources have been committed to inform athletes, coaches, and parents and guardians about the causes and symptoms of concussions;
    • d. If a person sustains a second concussion while still having symptoms of a previous concussion, it can lead to the severe impairment and even the death of the victim, and is referred to as second-impact syndrome; and
    • e. In order to ensure the safety of student-athletes, it is imperative that athletes, coaches, and parents and guardians are educated about the nature and treatment of concussions and other sports-related head injuries, and that all measures are taken to prevent a student-athlete from experiencing second-impact syndrome.

New Jersey Statutes 18A:40-41.3 Written policy for school district concerning prevention, treatment of sports-related head injuries.

  1. a. Each school district shall develop a written policy concerning the prevention and treatment of sports-related concussions and other head injuries among student-athletes and cheerleaders. The policy shall include, but need not be limited to, the procedure to be followed when it is suspected that a student-athlete or cheerleader has sustained a concussion or other head injury. When developing the district policy, a school district shall review the model policy established by the Commissioner of Education pursuant to subsection b. of this section, the policies established by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the recommendations made by the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey Concussion in Sports Steering Committee, the Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey, and other organizations with expertise in the area of preventing or treating sports-related concussions and other head injuries among student-athletes and cheerleaders. Each school district shall implement the policy by the 2011-2012 school year.

The policy shall be reviewed annually, and updated as necessary, by the district to ensure that it reflects the most current information available on the prevention, risk, and treatment of sports-related concussions and other head injuries.

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