Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports

On April 14th, 2012, Governor Heineman signed into law LB260, the Nebraska Concussion Awareness Act. This bill took effect July 1, 2012. The bill affects athletes 19 years old or younger, sports organizations, including youth leagues, club sports, or any organization sponsoring a sporting activity where there is a cost to participants or where such costs are sponsored must follow the law.

There are 3 primary components to the Nebraska Concussion Awareness Act:

1. Education
(a) concussion educational training must be made available to all coaches on how to recognize symptoms of a concussion, and how to seek proper medical treatment.

     - Heads Up Concussion Training
(b) Athletes and parents/legal guardians must be provided concussion information prior to an athlete’s participation on an annual basis that includes:

  • Signs & symptoms of a concussion 

  • Risks posed by sustaining a concussion

  • Actions an athlete should take in response to sustaining a concussion – including informing their coaches.

2. Removal of Athlete
An athlete presenting with signs or symptoms of a concussion thereby being “reasonably suspected” of having sustained a concussion:

  • Must be removed from participation

  • May not return to participation until evaluated by appropriate licensed health care professional

3. Written & Signed Clearance for Return to Play (RTP)
An athlete having been removed from participation for the purpose of presenting with signs or symptoms or “reasonably suspected” of having sustained a concussion must have, before RTP or participation is allowed by a coach:

  • Written and signed clearance from an appropriate licensed health care professional trained in the evaluation and management of traumatic brain injuries among a pediatric population

  • Written and signed clearance from the athlete’s parents/legal guardians.