On October 23, 2012, two new Michigan laws went into effect addressing sports-related concussions and required protocols for certain youth organizations. Senate Bill 1122 requires the Michigan Department of Community Health to develop both educational materials and a concussion awareness program. House Bill 5697 requires that all youth sports coaches, employees and volunteers participate in the concussion awareness program, as well as provide the educational materials to athletes.
To comply with these regulations, MAHA has adopted the USA Hockey Concussion Management Program and associated educational materials as its concussion management program. These educational materials include the Concussion Management Program handout, USA Hockey Concussion Poster and some other concussion related information. The most up to date materials are provided on our website at www.maha.org/concussions. We are asking all parents and guardians to download the materials and review them with their player. Each season, players and parents will be asked to acknowledge that they have received and reviewed these materials prior to the start of the season.
Another part of the new legislation requires that coaches remove any youth athlete suspected of having sustained a concussion from all hockey activities immediately. The athlete may only return to practice or competition when the organization receives written authorization from a licensed healthcare provider. The association must retain the release for the entire time the athlete is registered with the organization, or until the athlete reaches 18. MAHA affiliated clubs, associations, coaches and administrators each have a responsibility in dealing with, reporting and retaining records of players with concussion symptoms.
Concussion can cause serious and long-term damage to young players if not treated properly. We urge you to review the materials and become familiar with the symptoms of concussions. Concussion awareness is part of our coaching education program, but many times a players symptoms may not show until after the player has left the arena for home. Parents also need to be aware of how to identify the symptoms and learn what to do in the case you suspect a player has sustained a concussion.
Thank you for taking the time to review these materials to ensure the safety of all our young players.
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