Connecticut's youth sports concussion safety law was signed on May 18, 2010 by Governor M. Jodi Rell. The law was significantly amended in 2014.
As amended, the Connecticut statute:
- Mandates coaches training. Coaches of intramural and interscholastic sports must complete a training course related to recognizing signs & symptoms of concussion, appropriate medical management of concussion, and medical risks associated with concussion. Coaches must take yearly refresher training. For football coaches, the refresher course must include current best practices regarding coaching the sport, including frequency of games and full contact practices.
- Mandates comprehensive concussion education for parents. Parents and student-athletes must either read written concussion education materials, view online training or videos, or attend in-person training, and sign an informed consent form, before a student-athlete is allowed to participate in intramural or interscholastic sports. The educational materials must address, at minimum:
- recognition of signs or symptoms of concussion;
- means of obtaining proper medical treatment for a person suspected of sustaining a concussion;
- the nature and risks of concussion, inclduing the danger of continuing to engage in athletic activity after sustaining a concussion;
- the proper procedures for allowing a student-athlete who has sustained a concussion to return to play; and
- current best practices in the prevention and treatment of concussion.
- Removal from play of athletes suspected of having sustained a concussion. The coach must immediately remove a student athlete from participation who is observed to exhibit signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion following an observed or suspected blow to the head or body, or is diagnosed with a concussion. The 2014 amendment requires that the school make reasonable efforts to immediately notify the student-athlete's parent or guardian of the suspected or diagnosed concussion, and, in any event, provide such notification within 24 hours.
- Medical clearance before return to play. Coaches must not permit student-athletes to return to any supervised team activities involving physical exertion, until he or she has received written medical clearance to participate from a licensed health care professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussions, and shall not permit the student-athlete to participate in full, unrestricted supervised team activities until he or she (a) no longer exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion at rest and with exertion and (b) has received written clearance to participate in such full, unrestricted supervised team activities from a licensed health care professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussions.
- Penalty for violation. The State Board of Education may revoke the coaching permit of any coach found to be in violation of this statute.[Note: of the other state concussion laws, only Pennsylvania has a penalty section].
Posted March 13, 2011, updated and substantially revised August 23, 2014