Youth Concussion Laws across the Nation: Implications for the Traveling Team Physician

Curr Sports Med Rep. May-Jun 2016;15(3):161-7. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000268.


There are an estimated 1.6 to 3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions annually in the United States, with an average annual increase in incidence of 15.5% from 1998 to 2007. From 2009 to 2014, all 50 states enacted youth concussion legislation. This study clarifies core elements common to state concussion legislation and State Interscholastic Athletic Association (SIAA) implementation. A concussion literature, legislative, and SIAA concussion bylaw review was performed for all 50 U.S. states. Mandated concussion education varies in the frequency of certification and method of education. Student athletes and their parents/guardians in a majority of states are required to sign annual educational information sheets. Forty-nine states specifically mandate removal from play. Return-to-play protocols vary with regard to the timeline, content, and health care professional that can provide written clearance. In conclusion, it is important for sports medicine clinicians to stay abreast of current and revised concussion legislation in the jurisdictions in which they provide care.

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy*
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis
  • Brain Concussion / therapy*
  • Eligibility Determination / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Informed Consent / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Pediatrics / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Return to Sport / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Sports / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Sports Medicine / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • United States