Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Youth Concussion Act moves forward in the Senate

Monday, the Senate gave initial approval to bipartisan legislation to help protect youth athletes from the serious dangers of sports concussions. The bill is named for a Colorado high school athlete who died as a result of multiple concussions. The “Jake Snakenberg Youth Concussion Act” will help keep young athletes safe and ensure that coaches have the training they need.

In 2004, Jake Snakenberg was a freshman football player at Grandview High School. That season he sustained a concussion, but his symptoms were mild and he did not fully understand the nature of his injury. One week later, Jake took another hit, collapsed on the field and never regained consciousness. Jake died from “Second Impact Syndrome” on September 19, 2004.

The bill, Senate Bill 40, is sponsored by Senators Linda Newell (D-Littleton) and Nancy Spence (R-Centennial) and Representatives Nancy Todd (D-Aurora) and Ken Summers (R-Lakewood).

Senator Newell offered the following comment on the passage her bill by the Senate:

“We want children to be able to take advantage of all the benefits of playing sports like developing character, leadership, and self-confidence, while reducing the risks of concussions among young athletes. This bill is designed to ensure coaches, volunteers, and parents have the tools they need to keep kids active and safe.”

The legislation awaits final approval by the Senate before moving to the House for consideration.

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