On June 17th, 2011 – Governor Rick Perry signed into law a bill that requires certain procedures school authorities must take if an athlete is suspected of suffering from a concussion while playing sports. The measure is known as Natasha’s law.
Specifically, the law requires each school to appoint a concussion oversight team to deal with student injuries. The oversight team must be comprised of a physician and at least one of the following: athletic trainer, neuropsychologist, advance nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant. If a student is suspected of suffering a concussion, he or she is to be removed from practice or play immediately until checked by a medical professional.
The medical professional that evaluates the athlete should inform parents of symptoms to look out for. If these signs worsen, the athlete should be taken to an emergency room to minimize any greater risk of injury such as brain hemorrhaging which can be fatal.
As a parent, you should know that Texas has set up certain safeguards to maximize safety for athletes. You should also speak to your children about the risks of a concussion, what symptoms to look for and the type of response the athlete should expect from the administration. Empowering yourself and your children with knowledge can help enforce this law and prevent needless sports injuries.