Posted: Aug 27, 2012 10:14 AM by Derek Buerkle - KPAX Sports
Updated: Aug 27, 2012 10:16 AM
MISSOULA- We are learning more and more about concussions, and more and more about how to treat them. Now, a group in Montana is looking to standardize a policy for all the school and youth organizations in the state, and they will take it to the government in a few months.
A new bill, the Dylan Steigers' Protection of Youth Athletes Act, is named for a former Sentinel Spartan who died from a brain injury during a college scrimmage. A program also bearing the Steigers name in Missoula is very similar to the statewide proposal. And they've already seen great strides in concussion treatment and prevention in the last few years.
"Now we're finding with the education of our athletes that they'll report each other's concussions. They'll report their own concussions, because they are really starting to understand the effect of the concussions on their brain and the need to let those brains heal before they play again,: Jill Olson with Peak Performance Physical Therapy explained.
"So far, we've had some encouraging feedback. But again, it's early. Several of us now in all the participating entities have a lot of work ahead of us to continue to provide the legislators with the education to understand why this is going to be so important to protect our youth," added the head of the Governor's Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Council, Tara Ostrowski.
All youth athletes, even suspected of sustaining a concussion, will have to sit out until cleared by a trained medical professional under the proposal.
Schools and youth organizations would also need to adopt and enforce a concussion policy, and educate athletes and parents about the dangers of concussions.
Montana State Senator Anders Blewett from Great Falls is sponsoring the bill.