My city of Norwalk, CT, made history this week when Norwalk Common Council unanimously approved Youth Sport Concussion Guidelines extending concussion education and training for the 6,000 Norwalk youth athletes and 700 coaches who use town fields, gyms and facilities. I believe this is the most progressive in the United States a new “standard of care” for young athletes age 3 to 18. I am truly grateful and thrilled to have accomplished this with such a broad ban of supporters.
While no law can prevent a concussion, these guidelines will increase safety for children while lowering risk liability for coaches, leagues and the city. These benefits were obvious to the City of Norwalk who unanimously approved Youth Sport Concussion Guidelines for the 6,000 youth athletes who use town fields, gyms and facilities. The current state law only protected Norwalk ’s 1,145 high school athletes. There was no opposition to the vote as all major Norwalk youth sports organizations supported the new guidelines.
These guidelines were necessary as the Connecticut State Concussion Law of 2010 (updated in 2014) only protected the 1,145 public high school athletes who played for their school teams, not the 6,000 youth athletes and their coaches. Under the new guidelines, any team using municipal facilities must adhere to this new standard of care.
Norwalk youth sports organizations and city government agreed expanding these safety guidelines to all age children was a “no-brainer” and clearly a win-win situation for everyone – increasing safety for an additional 6,000 children while lowering risk liability for coaches, leagues and the city.
Before the vote was taken, public pledges of support for the new guidelines were given by:
- Norwalk Junior Soccer Association
- Norwalk Youth Football and Cheer
- Norwalk Cal Ripkin Baseball
- Norwalk Little League
- Norwalk Lacrosse Association
As of April 15, 2015, any sports team which wants to obtain a permit to use city fields, gym or courts must:
1. Train Coaches and Educate Parents, and Athletes:
a. Train coaches, through FREE CDC online training
b. Educate athletes and parents and guardians about concussion with FREE CDC concussion information fact handouts
2. Remove From Play ANY Athlete who is showing signs, symptoms, behaviors of concussion
a. REMOVE POSSIBLY INJURED PLAYERS showing the signs, symptoms and/or behaviors of a possible head injury
b. Immediately notify parents of injury
c. Request evaluation from a medical provider
d. Hold out athlete from returning to play for at least 24 HOURS
3. Obtain Permission to Return to Play: An athlete can only return to play or practice after at least 24 hours and with written permission from a health care professional
4. Record Concussions and submit injury report via official online form to Rec & Park for any concussions over the season
by Casey Donahue 02/27/15
NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk has become the first city in the state to approve a concussion program for its youth sports designed to protect injured kids and prevent them from further … Read more