Conn. bills address concussions, heart attacks

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Do you know what you need to know concerning your child’s safety from concussions in contact sports? Some state lawmakers say current law doesn’t go far enough to protect young kids from permanent injury.

Big time NFL players have been making more and more people aware of this but the problem can be especially acute to kids under age 14.

Connecticut was among the first states in the nation to have a law requiring coaches to be educated about the dangers of concussion in contact sports.

Now there is an effort to take it a step further by having sports leagues provide parents or guardians with detailed information on how the injury can have long lasting and even permanent impact.

And require written clearance from a medical provider before returning to play following a concussion.

“This is not so much about ‘return to play’ as it is about the possibility of a life changing injury,” said Rep. Diana Urban,(D) Committee on Children.

Eighteen-year-old Luke Sherwood of Westport came there with his mom to help push for the change. He suffered multiple concussions, playing soccer when he was 12 and 13.

“I had double vision, blurry vision, I was confused, disoriented, pretty much any symptom you could think of.  I  was nauseous, I couldn’t think straight…of course, the pounding headache that never went away,” said Sherwood.

And, if you think modern helmets solve the problem you are wrong. They will protect from a direct or linear blow but that’s not the issue, especially among young kids because young kids have a weak neck.

“What they can’t do is significantly limit rotational forces, the forces that are most involved with concussion,” said Dr. Robert Cantu, Boston University Medical School.

But Steve Filippone, the longtime football coach at Hand High School in Madison, thinks some of what’s in the law is unnecessary.

“I think it could be construed as a lack of confidence in our ability to handle the situations we’re confronted with everyday,” said Filippone.

If you’d like to see more about concussions, click here. 

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