Just in time for the start of the school year, the State Board of Education has issued Policies and Programs on Concussions for Public Schools and Youth Sports Programs in accordance with SB 771 and HB 858, which passed during the 2011 session of the General Assembly. The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has developed policies and provided recommendations for the implementation of concussion awareness programs throughout the state of Maryland for student-athletes, their parents or guardians, and their coaches.
The provisions of the policies and plan call for training of every public high school coach as well as providing awareness to all student-athletes and their parents or guardians on:
• The nature and risk of a concussion or head injury
• The criteria for removal from and return-to-play
• The risk of not reporting injury
• Appropriate academic accommodations
The provisions also mandate written verification of:
• The coach receiving concussion awareness training
• The student-athlete and parent or guardian acknowledging receipt of concussion awareness information
In addition, schools shall extend appropriate procedures for academic accommodations to student-athletes who have been diagnosed with a concussion. Finally, non-school youth athletic activities conducted on school property must provide assurances that concussion information has been provided to all participants and their parents or guardians.