Haley signs concussion bill
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley participated in a ceremonial bill signing last week for a Student Athletes Concussion bill.
The bill works to advance the identification and treatment of concussions in student athletes, focusing on concussion awareness and prevention.
“As a governor I fully support this legislation, but as a mother with a son who plays basketball and a daughter who is a cheerleader, this bill is personally important to me,” Haley said. “It tells me as a mother what to watch out for and more importantly, I know that if there is an injury, the school and coaches are going to know what to do – that the school district has a plan in place.
“This is about quality of life for our kids and I am proud to be part of it.”
The governor was joined by representatives from the South Carolina Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children, Brain Injury Association of South Carolina, South Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association, Clemson University, University of South Carolina, Carolina Panthers, and athletic directors, principals, coaches and student athletes from around the state.
“During my time as a USC quarterback, I had several concussions and research now tells us that when a young person gets even a single concussion, there can be life-long consequences,” said State Sen. Mike Fair. “The unanimous passage of this bill in the General Assembly and the governor’s resounding support means that we will now have model protocols across the state to prevent, recognize, and treat head trauma in student athletes.”
The bill targets reducing, identifying, and treating concussions in student athletes. It requires that nationally credentialed guidelines for the identification and treatment of concussions be posted on DHEC and S.C. Department of Education websites.
Guidelines will apply to all high school sanctioned athletic events.
For students to participate in athletics, parents or guardians will receive and provide written acknowledgement of receipt of guidelines.
Students suspected of having a concussion during play or practice must be removed from activities, but may be reinstated following a medical assessment and the determination that a concussion is not suspected.
Students who, after evaluation, have a suspected concussion must have physician clearance prior to reengaging in play or practice.
The bill passed the Senate 36-0 and the House of Representatives 109-0.