EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

December 23, 2012

N.H. wraps up first season with concussion law

The first fall season under the new state concussion law is complete and local athletic directors say they have been doing what is required under the law already.

“Most of what that new law did, we’ve been doing for years,” said Angelo Fantasia, Timberlane Regional High School athletic director. “Educating people on concussions is something we’ve been doing before someone told us we had to.”

The law requires a student-athlete suspected of having a concussion be removed from a game or practice immediately. The athlete is then only allowed to play again if given clearance by both a health-care provider and a parent.

“We just basically have fallen in line with what the state legislation has mandated,” said Vicki Parady-Guay, Sanborn Regional High School athletic director. “We had been doing most of it. The only added piece is a sign-off form, which needs to be brought back in from a physician and parent.”

Marion Alberico is a parent of a Windham High athlete who plays three contact sports. She said the addition of a parent signing off before their child is allowed to play has been a welcome one.

“It was an important step for everyone to make,” Alberico said. “It helps us all become more educated in the risk. You want your kids to play, but you want them to be safe.”

The law only encourages schools to develop guidelines to educate athletes, parents and coaches. But many schools have taken the initiative to do so on their own.

“We had an education piece this fall which our trainers put on with information about concussions for families and community members,” said Tim Powers, Pinkerton Academy athletic director. “Getting everyone involved in what a concussion and how to identify what it is, is something we need to continue to do.”

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