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Youth-Concussion Law Update: Wisconsin Makes 36

Wisconsin became the 36th state to enact a youth-concussion law on Monday, as Gov. Scott Walker held a special ceremony at Lambeau Field to commemorate the occasion.

The law contains all three components of the National Football League's model legislation: Parents of students under 19 years old must sign a concussion-information form each season before their kids can participate on a sports team; any student-athlete suspected of a concussion must be immediately removed from play; and those student-athletes who get removed cannot return until obtaining medical clearance.

However, the law does not require any defined training for coaches or other school officials.

At the ceremony, Walker spoke about the dangers of concussions in the brains of youth-athletes, stressing the risk of second-impact syndrome.

"It takes even longer for younger athletes to recover from this type of brain injury. If they suffer a second or third concussion before they have had time to heal properly, the damages can be irreparable," he said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Wisconsin may have company soon, too. On March 30, the Kentucky president of the Senate signed and delivered his state's youth-concussion bill to Gov. Steve Beshear.

Keep in mind: At the beginning of February 2011, only 10 states had such laws. Now, we could be days away from having 36, along with the District of Columbia.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been pushing every state to adopt a youth-concussion law, "sooner rather than later," but it's tough to imagine even the NFL expected this much legislative action in the past 13 months.

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