Concussion Prevention Important to Lawmakers in South Carolina
On Thursday, August 15th, Governor Nikki Haley signed the Student Athlete Concussion bill, also known as H. 3061, into law at a ceremonial signing.
“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,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. “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.”
Governor Haley was joined at the signing 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 Senator 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.”
“Protecting our youth is critical to preserving our society and I am thankful that my colleagues supported this legislation to enhance the safety of our student athletes,” said State Representative Peter McCoy. “I am proud that we did this without costing the taxpayers additional money through the use of existing research and communication means.”
“The player safety initiative is important to the National Football League on every level and in passing the student athletes bill, the state of South Carolina is taking an important step in the prevention and treatment of concussions that occur in student athletes,” said Jerry Richardson, owner and founder of the Carolina Panthers. “We applaud the leadership of Governor Haley and the legislature in better protecting the young athletes of South Carolina.”
Concussion Bill Signed Just As Student Football Season Starts
Governor Haley signed the Student Athlete Concussion Bill into law the day before school football season officially started. On Friday, August 16th, student athletes gathered at Ridgeview High School.
“My favorite part is the uncertainty, right before the season,” said Ridge View High School Head Football Coach Raymond Jennings. “Some people call it nervousness and goose bumps. It’s just excitement.”
Jennings says that the safety of his athletes, especially against concussions, has been his number one priority during his coaching career.
“If we’re in a situation where we’re excited I make sure I always tell them to protect themselves, keep their head up, see what they hit,” he said.
The new concussion legislation requires on-site exams of potential head injuries, and removal of athletes who appear to have concussions. Sports teams, including student football teams, have been criticized in the past for putting injured athletes back on the field without paying attention to potential head injuries.
“We have to recognize the signs,” Jennings said. “And that’s the biggest part about educating and realizing when their kid is not acting normal so we can get them out of harm’s way, getting him out of the game and getting him to a medical professional.”
South Carolina is the 49th state to pass student athlete concussion legislation. The final state remaining is Mississippi.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Concussion Injury Cases
For many victims, a concussion or traumatic brain injury is not immediately noticeable. Concussion or traumatic brain injury symptoms may not appear for several days after the initial trauma. If you or a loved one suffered a concussion or traumatic brain injury as the result of an accident, the Strom Law Firm offers a free, no-cost consultation to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today at 803.252.4800