Title 18A.

Chapter 40.

Article 9.

(Rename)

Student Athletes

§§1-5 -

C.18A:40-41.1 to

18A:40-41.5

§6 –

C.45:9-37.48a

§7 - Note to §§1-6

 


P.L.2010, CHAPTER 94, approved December 7, 2010

Assembly, No. 2743 (Third Reprint)

 

 


An Act concerning the health of student-athletes and supplementing 3P.L.1984, c.203 (C.45:9-37.35 et seq.) and3 chapter 40 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    The Legislature finds and declares that:

     a.     A concussion is caused by a blow or motion to the head or body that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain, and can cause significant and sustained neuropsychological impairments including, but not limited to, problem solving, planning, memory, and behavioral problems;

     b.    The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 300,000 concussions are sustained during sport-related activity in the United States, and more than 62,000 concussions are sustained each year in high-school contact sports;

     c.     Although concussions are one of the most commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational activities, little effort and resources have been committed to inform athletes, coaches, and parents and guardians about the causes and symptoms of concussions;

     d.    If a person sustains a second concussion while still having symptoms of a previous concussion, it can lead to the severe impairment and even the death of the victim, and is referred to as second-impact syndrome; and

     e.     In order to ensure the safety of student-athletes, it is imperative that athletes, coaches, and parents and guardians are educated about the nature and treatment of concussions and other sports-related 3[brain] head3 injuries, and that all measures are taken to prevent a student-athlete from experiencing second-impact syndrome.

 

     2.    a.  The 3[Commissioner] Department3 of Education 3[, in consultation with the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services,]3 shall 3work to3 develop 3and implement, by the 2011-2012 school year,3 an 3[awareness program concerning the prevention, risk, and treatment of sports-related concussions and other brain injuries among student-athletes.  As a component of this awareness program, the commissioner shall develop a brain injury fact sheet that provides information about sports-related concussions and other brain injuries.  The brain injury fact sheet shall include, but need not be limited to:

     (1)   information concerning the most effective means of preventing concussions and other brain injuries to ensure the safety of student-athletes;

     (2)   information identifying the signs and symptoms indicative of concussions and other brain injuries;

     (3)   information concerning the short and long-term dangers of concussions and other brain injuries; and

     (4)   information concerning]

interscholastic athletic head injury safety training program.  The program shall be completed by a school physician, a person who coaches a public school district or nonpublic school interscholastic sport, and an athletic trainer involved in a public or nonpublic school interscholastic sports program. The safety training program shall include, but need not be limited to, the following:

     (1)   the recognition of the symptoms of head and neck injuries, concussions, and injuries related to second-impact syndrome; and

     (2)3  the appropriate amount of time to delay the return to sports competition or practice of a student-athlete who has sustained a concussion or other 3[brain] head3 injury.

     3[The commissioner shall update the fact sheet as necessary and shall make copies available to nonpublic schools upon request.

     b.    Beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, the Commissioner of Education shall annually distribute the brain injury fact sheet to all school districts in the State.

     c.     A school district shall distribute the fact sheet annually to all student-athletes, parents or guardians of student-athletes, coaches, and athletic trainers.  The district shall require that the student-athlete and his parent or guardian both sign a copy of the fact sheet to acknowledge that they have read and understood the information provided in the fact sheet.]

     b.    The department shall update the safety training program as necessary to ensure that it reflects the most current information available on the nature, risk, and treatment of sports-related concussions and other head injuries.

     c.     The department shall develop an educational fact sheet that provides information about sports-related concussions and other head injuries.  A school district or a nonpublic school that participates in an interscholastic sports program shall distribute the educational fact sheet annually to the parents or guardians of student-athletes and shall obtain a signed acknowledgment of the receipt of the fact sheet by the student-athlete and his parent or guardian.3

 

     3.    a.  2[Each school district] 3[The Commissioner of Education2] Each school district3 shall develop 2[and implement, by the 2011-2012 school year,]2 a written policy concerning the prevention and treatment of sports-related concussions and other 3[brain] head3 injuries among student-athletes. The policy shall include, but need not be limited to, the procedure to be followed when it is suspected that a student-athlete has sustained a concussion or other 3[brain] head3 injury.  2[A school district] When developing the 3district3 policy, 3[the commissioner2] a school district3 shall review the 3[policies] model policy3 established by the 3Commissioner of Education pursuant to subsection b. of this section, the policies established by the3 New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association 1[and],1 the National Collegiate Athletic Association 1, and 3the3 recommendations made by 2the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey Concussion in Sports Steering Committee 3, the Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey,3 and2 other organizations with expertise in the area of preventing or treating sports-related concussions and other 3[brain] head3 injuries among student-athletes1 2[when developing the district policy]22Each school district shall implement the policy by the 2011-2012 school year.2

     The policy shall be reviewed annually 2[by a physician trained in the evaluation and management of concussions, athletic trainer, and coach]2, and 2[shall be]2 updated as necessary 2, by the 3[commissioner2]  district3 to ensure that it reflects the most current information available on the prevention, risk, and treatment of sports-related concussions and other 3[brain]  head3 injuries.

     b.    3[A student-athlete who sustains or is suspected of having sustained a concussion or other brain injury while engaged in a sports competition or practice shall be immediately removed from the sports competition or practice in accordance with the 2[school district’s written]2 policy.  A student-athlete who is removed from competition or practice shall not participate in further sports activity until he is evaluated by a physician 2or other licensed health care provider2 trained in the evaluation and management of concussions, and receives written clearance from 2[that] a2 physician 2trained in the evaluation and management of concussions2 to return to competition or practice.] To assist school districts in developing policies concerning the prevention and treatment of sports-related concussions and other head injuries among student-athletes, the Commissioner of Education shall develop a model policy applicable to grades kindergarten through 12.  This model policy shall be issued no later than March 31, 2011.3

 

     34.   A student who participates in an interscholastic sports program and who sustains or is suspected of having sustained a concussion or other head injury while engaged in a sports competition or practice shall be immediately removed from the sports competition or practice.  A student-athlete who is removed from competition or practice shall not participate in further sports activity until he is evaluated by a physician or other licensed healthcare provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussions, and receives written clearance from a physician trained in the evaluation and management of concussions to return to  competition or practice.3

 

     35.   a.  A school district and nonpublic school shall not be liable for the injury or death of a person due to the action or inaction of persons employed by, or under contract with, a youth sports team organization that operates on school grounds, if the youth sports team organization provides the district or nonpublic school, as applicable, with the following:

     (1)   proof of an insurance policy of an amount of not less than $50,000 per person, per occurrence insuring the youth sports team organization against liability for any bodily injury suffered by a person; and

     (2)   a statement of compliance with the school district or nonpublic school’s policies for the management of concussions and other head injuries.

     b.    As used in this section, a “youth sports team organization” means one or more sports teams organized pursuant to a nonprofit or similar charter or which are member teams in a league organized by or affiliated with a county or municipal recreation department.3

 

     36.   a.  The State Board of Medical Examiners shall require each person licensed as an athletic trainer, as a condition for biennial license renewal pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1984, c.203 (C.45:9-37.48), to complete 24 credits of continuing athletic trainer education, which shall include a specific number of credits of instruction on topics related to concussions and head injuries, as determined by the State Board of Medical Examiners.

     b.    The board shall:

     (1)   establish standards for continuing athletic trainer education, including the subject matter and content of courses of study; and

     (2)   accredit education programs offering credit toward continuing athletic trainer education requirements or recognize national or State organizations that may accredit education programs.

     c.     Each hour of an educational course or program shall be equivalent to one credit of continuing athletic trainer education.

     d.    The board may, in its discretion, waive requirements for continuing athletic trainer education on an individual basis for reasons of hardship such as illness or disability, retirement of license, or other good cause.  A waiver shall apply only to the current biennial renewal period at the time of board issuance.

     e.     The board shall not require completion of continuing athletic trainer education credits for any licensure period commencing within 12 months of the effective date of this section.

     f.     The board shall require completion of athletic trainer education credits on a pro-rated basis for any registration period commencing more than 12 months but less than 24 months from the effective date of this section.

     g.     Prior to license renewal, each licensee shall submit to the board proof of completion of the required number of hours of continuing athletic trainer education.3

 

     3[4. This] 7. Sections 1 through 5 of this3 act shall take effect immediately 3and section 6 shall take effect on the 360th day after the date of enactment3.

 

 

                                

 

     Requires development of interscholastic athletic head injury safety training program; requires certain measures to protect student athletes with concussions; and requires continuing education for athletic trainers.