House panel passes concussion protocol measure

djournal-state-news-mississippiBy Bobby Harrison

Daily Journal Jackson Bureau

JACKSON – Legislation to establish procedures to protect students from participating in school-sponsored events with a concussion was passed Wednesday by the House Public Health Committee.

The bill was the first to be taken up during the 2014 session, which started Tuesday.

House Public Health Chair Sam Mims, R-McComb, said the legislation follows the protocol already in place by the Mississippi High School Activities Association.

It would require a participant to be OK’d by a health care provider, preferably one with expertise in concussion-related injuries, before participating in the event again.

The legislation does not cover non-school activities, such as park and rec sports.

Mims said Mississippi is the only state to not have laws designed to protect youths from participating in sporting activities with a possible concussion.

Lee Voulters of Gulfport, a member of the Mississippi Medical Association Board and a neurologist, said children are more susceptible to concussions than adults and coaches need to be educated to ensure sports participants “get the appropriated attention and protection.”