Head Injuries Could Sideline Florida Student Athletes

Parents of student athletes may soon have to sign a form saying they understand the risk of serious head injuries, and players who may have a concussion will have to sit out the rest of the game under legislation approved by a House committee Monday in Tallahassee. The legislation has been sidelined before because of dispute between medical; providers.

Thousands of student athletes suffer concussions each year. Football, Soccer, LaCross, basketball. “A vote for this today is voting for our student athletes”

Now state lawmakers want to make sure a qualified doctor sees an athlete suspected of having a concussion before coach sends them back in. Dr. Roland Renaurt of Jacksonville is very concerned. “And a repeat injury, back to back, can be detrimental. A student athlete may never reach their full potential as far as education, and it can even lead to death in certain situations.”

Deciding which medical professional gets to say a kid is okay, or isn’t okay has been a sticking point in the past, and its a sticking point this year.

The legislation delegates to the responsibility of who can diagnose a concussion and who can allow an athlete to resume play to the Florida High School Athletic Association. Activist Brian Pitts told lawmakers they were shirking their responsibilities. “You are the legislature. You are supposed to set the policy and guidelines.”

Chiropractors have been excluded from concussion decision making in past concussion legislation, this time they are not, and for the first time they are supporting the bill.

Jack Herbert is with the Fl. Chiropractic Assn. “Because we have hundreds of doctors out there every Friday night that are volunteering their time to their communities serve as team physicians.”
Question: “Are they qualified to diagnose a head injury?”
“Yes. Very much so. Very much so”.

But Chiropractors are not included as members on Sports Medicine Advisory councils and keeping them out may make passing the legislation more difficult.

Doctors say young female athletes are more prone to concussion than young men.

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