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Youth-Concussion Law Update: Idaho, Wisconsin Advancing Bills

When we last checked in, 35 states and the District of Columbia already had youth-concussion laws. A majority of the states without such laws had bills working their way through the legislative process.

Wisconsin is one of the 15 states currently without a youth-concussion law, but that very well may change in the near future. On Tuesday, the state Senate voted in favor of a bill that would establish regulations for student-athletes who suffer concussions, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The bill, modeled after Washington state's "Lystedt Law," requires teams to distribute concussion-information forms to the parents and guardians of student-athletes and prohibits them from participating until their parents sign and return the forms.

It also requires any student-athlete suspected of a concussion to be immediately removed from play, only to return once evaluated and cleared by a medical professional.

The bill now advances to Gov. Scott Walker.

Idaho is one of the 35 states with a youth-concussion law already, but it's one of four states whose law isn't sufficient in the eyes of the National Football League, which considers the Lystedt Law to be model youth-concussion legislation.

The current Idaho law only requires the state board of education to work with the Idaho High School Activities Association to develop concussion guidelines and make them available to parents. Parents don't have to sign any concussion forms, coaches aren't required to go through training, and coaches also aren't required to remove student-athletes from play if suspected of having a concussion.

On Monday, the state House voted 59-7 on a new bill that's in the mold of the Lystedt Law, according to the Associated Press. Along with requiring a parent or guardian signature, immediate removal from play, and medical clearance for student-athletes suspected of a concussion, the bill also requires coaches, referees, game officials, and athletic trainers to review the concussion guidelines on an annual basis.

The state board of education recently threw support behind the concussion legislation, according to the AP. It now heads to the state Senate for consideration.

On one last quick concussion note: The NCAA announced a $400,000 grant Tuesday for a long-term concussion study headed by University of Michigan researchers. They'll study more than 1,000 male and female athletes in 11 sports in the coming years.

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