After suffering a concussion, just about every state requires a student-athlete to receive written clearance from a licensed health-care professional before returning to his or her respective sport. Far fewer states, however, address student-athletes’ return to the classroom following a concussion.
Illinois may be en route to joining that latter group. The state Senate unanimously approved a bill Thursday that would require schools to create a concussion oversight team responsible for establishing both a return-to-play and a return-to-learn protocol.
“Student-athletes who have sustained a concussion may need informal or formal accommodations, modifications of curriculum, and monitoring by medical or academic staff until the student is fully recovered,” the bill reads. “To that end, all schools are encouraged to establish an return-to-learn protocol that is based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and conduct baseline testing for student-athletes.”
Each concussion oversight team “must include to the extent practicable at least one physician,” and if the school employs an athletic trainer and/or a nurse, he or she must also be part of the concussion team “to the extent practicable.” Each team must have a person responsible for both the return-to-play and return-to-learn protocols.
“Overly exercising your brain exacerbates concussion symptoms,” said state Sen. Kwame Raoul
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.