Florida Governor Charlie Crist to Announce Nationwide Concussion Initiative at Super Bowl

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A national movement that aims to legislate how doctors, young athletes and coaches deal with concussion injuries is gaining momentum. At this year’s Super Bowl, taking place in Miami, Florida, Governor Charlie Crist will be announcing plans for a national initiative that would encourage all fifty states to adopt concussion legislation modeled after the Zackery Lystedt Law in Washington State. In 2006, Lystedt suffered a debilitating brain injury at the age of thirteen as a result of being allowed to return to the field too quickly after suffering a sports-related concussion.

The Washington law requires that athletes, parents and coaches receive education about the dangers of concussions, that children be removed from the game if they are suspected of having a concussion, and that children must be cleared by a medical doctor before returning to the sport. Oregon, California and Pennsylvania have adopted similar laws.

While no such law has been introduced in the Florida legislature, Crist’s planned comments at the Super Bowl would indicate that one may be soon. Currently the Florida High School Athletic Association advises trainers to follow the guidelines set forth in the sports medicine handbook of the National Federation of State High School Associations. Find out more about the proposed nationwide effort to protect youth athletes from brain injuries at Congressional forum to tackle concussion issue in NCAA, high schools.