On Wednesday, June 29, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed into law the Louisiana Youth Concussion Act. With the signing of Bill 189, which was sponsored by State Senator Sherry Cheek (R-Shreveport), youth and high school athletes in Louisiana will receive more extensive oversight in the diagnosis and treatment, as well as guidelines in removal from activities and more concise guidelines if the occurrence of a concussion is suspected.
Bill 189 possesses several components and guidelines for youth athletes in order to protect them from suffering preventable brain injuries. It will provide for increased education and standards for coaches, officials, athletes, parents and healthcare providers in the recognition and subsequent management of concussions. Most importantly it will ensure that any student removed from play for having been suspected of suffering a concussion or brain injury go through a defined medical evaluation process before being cleared to return to athletic activities.
The New Orleans Saints, NFL and Louisiana High School Athletic Association, along with leaders from the medical community provided their unanimous support for the passage of the act starting with its introduction leading to its process for approval. Former Saints players and current members of the front office Michael Lewis and Fred McAfee went to the Baton Rouge State Capitol in recent weeks to testify before the House and Senate on the importance of the Louisiana Youth Concussions Act.