Oklahoma is updating its laws regarding how concussions experienced by young athletes are treated and managed by parents and athletic staff. This week Gov. Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 1164 into law, with its new standards going into effect starting Nov. 1.
The bill was led by A.J. Griffin, R-Guthrie, in the state Senate and Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa, in the House of Representatives. According to the congressmen, the bill revises the existing state legislation in place in Oklahoma to reflect the significant advancements in both understanding and treatment of concussions.
C.J. Fedor, president of the Oklahoma Athletic Trainers Association also assisted in drafting the bill, along with other leaders of the OATA.
“The Oklahoma Athletic Trainers’ Association, in association with the Oklahoma State Department of Health, is grateful to all those who have worked so diligently to protect the youth athletes in the State of Oklahoma by advocating for this legislation,” OATA said in a statement.
Specifically, the law provides for penalties for coaches and officials who ignore concussion protocol. The penalties are specifically designed to advance education for concussion management.
The bill also requires that athletes receive written clearance from a licensed health care provider before they may return to action and implements a “Return to Learn” policy to help guide students back to the classroom as their brain heals.
The bill also emphasizes several methods for advancing concussion education and spreading information regarding concussion management and treatment.