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Youth-Concussion-Law Watch: Illinois Makes 31

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed his state's student-athlete concussion bill into law this morning, making Illinois the 31st state with a youth-concussion law on the books, by this blogger's count.

So, in other words: We've now got as many youth-concussion laws in the U.S. as Baskin Robbins originally had flavors.

The law, called the Protecting Our Student-Athletes Act, requires all school boards to establish a concussion policy that complies with the protocols of the Illinois High School Association. The IHSA recently announced an update to its policy, which now requires student-athletes to be removed from play if suspected of having a concussion. They must obtain medical clearance before returning to competition.

The IHSA policy only allows licensed physicians and certified athletic trainers working in conjunction with licensed physicians to give the medical clearance to concussed student-athletes.

The new law requires that the IHSA make concussion-information materials available to each school district for schools to use to educate coaches, student-athletes, and parents about the dangers of concussions. It also mandates that information about the school board's concussion policy be included on any form that parents must sign before student-athletes can participate in sports.

With these requirements, Illinois' new law includes all three components of Washington's Lystedt Law, which the National Football League considers model legislation.

The Illinois law passed the state Senate on May 17 and the House on May 29. It was sent to Gov. Quinn on June 3.

Other youth-concussion notes: I'm in the midst of wrapping up a nationally focused youth-concussion story, which you'll see online at edweek.org in mid-August.

We're also building an interactive youth-concussion map, where you'll be able to see the status of each state's concussion law, the highlights of each law, and a link back to the full text of each law. Stay tuned, sports fans. Once the story and map go live, rest assured that you'll find links to both right here on Schooled in Sports.

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