Charles Roth-Sports Editor
Michigan joined many other states this summer by passing a law in hopes of raising awareness for concussions. According to the Michigan state law, a “concussion” is defined as a type of traumatic brain injury caused by any type of accident or injury (a fall, blow or bump to the head, the acceleration or deceleration of the head, etc. Romeo High School athletes and parents must sign new concussion policy in order to participate in sports. A concussion may cause a change in a person’s mental status at the time of the injury, including, but not limited to, feeling dazed, disoriented, or confused, and may or may not involve a loss of consciousness; it may be caused by any type of accident or injury including, but not limited to, a fall, blow or bump to the head, or the acceleration or deceleration of the head.
The new law requires all coaches and teachers to take an online course on concussion awareness prior to the start of the school year.
“The online course we took has brought back and reminded me of all the side effects a student can have in the classroom following a concussion, I think it is also important that the parents are informed and know what to do when their child is showing symptoms.” said Jason Couch, Romeo’s co-head football coach.
The law also requires schools to provide educational material on concussions to parents and students, while having them return a form stating that they received and understood the information. House Bill no. 5697 also states that an athlete who has, or is suspected to have sustained a concussion must be immediately removed from the event, and may not return until the athlete has been released by a physician.
Romeo High School athletes are also required to take a baseline concussion test. The ImPACT Test (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), is a test that provides trainers and health care providers with a baseline set of data that is compared to a post test after the athlete sustains a concussion. Along with the cognitive testing, athletes are required to pass a five step physical examination, which requires running and weightlifting.