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Pennsylvania Concussion Safety Laws for Youth Sports

boy sliding in baseball

Research has shown that concussions – a type of traumatic brain injury – can cause permanent brain damage and long-term medical complications.

Because they can be especially dangerous in children, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed the Safety in Youth Sports Act, which became effective July 1, 2012. Pennsylvania is the 31st state to pass a strong youth sports concussion safety law.

About the Youth Sports Concussion Safety Law

Who This Law Protects

This law applies to and covers:

  • Students participating in sports teams at public schools
  • Non-interscholastic athletic competitions sponsored by or associated with a public school
  • Team practices
  • Interschool practices
  • Scrimmage games

Concussions and Removal From Play

Athletes showing signs or symptoms of a concussion or traumatic brain injury must be removed from play immediately by the coach. A game official, coach, certified athletic trainer, physician, physical therapist, or other designated official can alert the coach if they notice a player showing concussion symptoms.

Once an athlete is removed from play for signs of concussion, they can't return to play until they've been cleared medically by:

  • A licensed physician who is trained to evaluate and manage concussions OR
  • A licensed healthcare professional with training to evaluate and manage concussions OR
  • A licensed neuropsychologist trained to evaluate and manage concussions, and who has postdoctoral training in neuropsychology and specific training on concussions

Please note that athletic trainers can remove an athlete from play, but they can't give medical clearance for the athlete to return to play.

Punishment for Coaches Not Following the Act

Coaches who do not follow the safety standards set forth in the Act are punished as follows:

  • First Violation: Suspension from coaching any athletic activity for the remainder of the season
  • Second Violation: Suspension from coaching for the remainder of the season, as well as the next season
  • Third Violation: Permanent ban for life from any coaching activity

Education and Training

Also under the new law, the Pennsylvania Departments of Public Health and Education must develop and make available materials (from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to inform and educate students, parents, and coaches about concussions, the risks of concussions and traumatic brain injuries, and the dangers of continuing to play or practice while suffering a concussion or traumatic brain injury.

Read full details about Pennsylvania's Safety in Youth Sports Act.

Did Your Child Suffer a Concussion or Traumatic Brain Injury in an Accident?

Concussions have been a high profile news topic, but traumatic brain injuries don't just happen on the playing field. They are also common injuries in car accidents, slip and fall accidents, motorcycle accidents, etc.

Traumatic brain injuries can change lives forever. If your child suffered a concussion or other type of traumatic brain injury in an accident, contact Edgar Snyder & Associates for a free legal consultation.

Call 1-866-943-3427, or fill out the form at the top right of this webpage to get started.

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