Lauren Caruso was only 14 when a concussion ended her high school athletic career. She played lacrosse and field hockey at Timberlane Regional High and was so good that even as a freshman she was playing varsity. Then she got two concussions in a five-week span. She doesn’t remember what happened to her — she was injured in a wrestling drill and then, five weeks later, hit her head when she fell in a classroom.
Lauren has been a key part of pushing a bill that passed this summer in New Hampshire and was signed into law by Governor Lynch. She’s a part of the movement to shed light on the dangers of brain injuries and encourage sports teams and leagues to do more to prevent and treat them.
The new law requires schools and youth programs to pull any athlete suspected of having a concussion out of the game and not allow them to go back into the game until they’ve been evaluated by a health care professional. Parents and athletes are also required to receive education about concussions and their dangers.
Lauren wasn’t the only person to testify in favor of the new law, a former NFL tight end and a representative from the NFL public relation office also showed up, in addition to doctors and local representatives.
Lauren had to become a part-time student and missed 3/4ths of her sophomore year and 1/3rd of her junior year because of fatigue, dizziness, and headaches. Thanks to distance education, however, she graduated with her class in June and wants to become a nurse when she goes to college this fall.
In the last three years, 33 states and DC have passed statutes to encourage youth and school sports teams to recognize and treat seriously concussions sustained by athletes. Thanks to the massive lawsuit in the NFL, more people are becoming educated about the dangers of brain injuries and more stringent rules are being enforced at all levels of sports.