Youth concussion bill moves through State Senate

8:00 PM, Feb 10, 2011   |    comments
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  • Legislators proposing law to protect young athletes from concussions
  • A bill introduced before the Colorado Senate on Thursday is named after Jake Snakenberg, a 14-year-old high school football player from Grandview who died after he suffered a concussion.

    Senate Bill 40, which was Snakenberg's number, would require coaches to pull kids from the game immediately if there are warning signs, and require training for coaches as well.

    It would also stipulate kids must have medical clearance before returning to games.

    "I didn't know about concussions," said Theresa McWilliams, who spoke at a news conference Thursday at the State Capitol.

    Her daughter Gabriella suffered a concussion in September after a soccer ball hit her in the head. She suffered headaches, but went back to soccer practice in the week after the injury.

    As the migraines and fatigue got worse, McWilliams took her daughter to a doctor at The Children's Hospital, who diagnosed a concussion.

    "I felt like I compromised her health, by putting her in situations I shouldn't have once she sustained a concussion," McWilliams said.

    Representatives from the NFL, including former Denver Broncos Ed McCaffrey and Billy Thompson, threw their support behind the bill as well on Thursday.

    The bill went through the Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing Thursday and was expected to be passed onto the Senate floor.

    Currently, nine states have laws that try to prevent youth concussions. There are 10 states currently considering youth concussion legislation in 2011.

    For more of the training coaches would be required to go through, visit http://concussion.orcasinc.com/.

    (KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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