On October 23, 2012, Governor Snyder signed into law legislation addressing sports-related concussions and required protocols for certain youth organizations. The governor signed two bills to inform students, coaches and parents on how to recognize a concussion. 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. 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.
Northwestern University recently published “How Counseling Can Help After a Concussion” which addresses the psychological and emotional effects of a concussion and how counselors can help students adjust back to normal life.
How Counseling Can Help After a Concussion
A lacrosse player takes a blow to the head from an opponent’s stick but remains conscious and keeps playing. A parent hits their head on a cabinet door while making school lunches but has no time to slow down. An elderly person becomes dizzy and falls, landing on their knees, but the force involved jostles their brain.
They may seem minor, but each of these injuries could lead to a concussion. Without treatment, a concussion can have lasting effects on a person’s mental, physical, and emotional health.
A mental health counselor can support someone in the aftermath of a concussion and guide people in their support networks—family, friends, coaches, teachers, and employers—helping them better understand what a concussion is and how they can be of assistance.
Put these posters up at your arena to raise awareness of concussion signs, symptoms and steps to take should you suspect a player has sustained a concussion.
These posters are available through your District Council or you can download it below and have it printed yourself.