House passes concussion training bill

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Lafayette Jeff High School athletic trainer Jeff Clevenger knows the signs and symptoms of a concussion like the back of his hand. As a trainer, it’s part of his job.

“The athlete should be able to stand on one foot and be able to balance with their eyes closed and hands out to the side,” Clevenger said. “If they have trouble doing that, along with the other signs and symptoms, then we suspect a concussion.”

If recent legislation is signed into law high school and youth football coaches will fully understand them too. As News 18 reported Monday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that requires all head and assistant coaches to undergo concussion education training.

At Jeff High School, athletic director Peyton Stovall said the coaches are one step ahead.

“In our policy all coaches, no matter if they are volunteer or assistant coaches or head coaches, all are supposed to be certified and go through that concussion training,” Stovall said.

“They need to be able to understand and recognize those signs and symptoms and remove them completely from the activity until all of the signs and symptoms are completely gone,” Clevenger said.

By law, student athletes who sustain a concussion must be cleared by a licensed medical professional before heading back to practice. If passed the most recent concussion bill also requires a 24-hour waiting period for student athletes.

“It helps back our athletic trainers and our administrative staff and coaches to say ‘okay, you have a concussion and the law says you can’t do this,'” Stovall said.

While the athletic department at Jeff is one step ahead of lawmakers, Stovall said backing from lawmakers is a promising step in protecting student athletes.

“I think the state of Indiana is making the right choice to go this route and I think you’ll see a trend of other states following it as well,” Jeff’s athletic director said.

The bill will now move to a conference committee where lawmakers will work out small differences between the House and Senate version of the bill. It has already been approved by the Senate and is likely to become law.

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