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Idaho Strengthens Youth-Concussion Law by Passing Revision

Wisconsin wasn't the only state this week making news in regards to a youth-concussion law.

On Tuesday, Idaho governor C.L. "Butch" Otter signed into law a revision of his state's previous youth-concussion law, one that's much more in line with legislation already passed by most other states.

The previous law, which was passed in 2010, only required the state board of education to work with the Idaho High School Activities Association to develop concussion guidelines and make them available to parents. The law did not require parents to sign concussion-information forms, coaches weren't required to go through concussion training, and student-athletes weren't required to be removed from competition when suspected of a concussion.

The National Football League, which considers Washington state's "Lystedt Law" as the model for youth-concussion legislation, did not recognize Idaho's previous law as being adequate.

In contrast, the new law signed by Otter this week aligns with the three major components of the Lystedt Law. Parents are required to sign a concussion-information form before their kids can participate on a sports team, student-athletes are required to be immediately removed from play when suspected of a concussion, and those student-athletes can't return before obtaining medical clearance.

The law also requires coaches, referees, game officials, and athletic trainers to review the established concussion guidelines on an annual basis. Of the 36 states (along with the District of Columbia) with youth-concussion laws, roughly half contain some form of mandatory coaches training; however, extending that training to referees, game officials, and athletic trainers is much more rare.

The NFL extended its thanks to Otter for passing the new law. With Idaho's revision, only three of the 36 states with youth-concussion laws now have legislation that isn't aligned with the Lystedt Law.

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