As people have become more aware of the potentially devastating effects of concussions, most states in America have implemented concussion laws regarding young athletes and when they can safely return to sports and academic activity. In 2009, Washington became the first state to enact a concussion law; Oregon followed suit in 2010. Most laws require education or annual training for coaches or staff. They also require that any athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion must be removed from play or practice and must be cleared by a medical professional before returning to activity.
Max's Law (2009 OR Senate Bill 348)
This Oregon law applies to school-related sports. It is named after Max Conradt, a high school quarterback who sustained a concussion in a football game. Without receiving medical clearance, he played in the next game. Max collapsed at halftime due to massive bleeding in his brain, even though no remarkable hits were observed. He required multiple brain surgeries, and was in a coma for three months and now lives in a group home for adults with brain injuries.
Jenna's Law (2013 OR Senate Bill 721)
Jenna's Law was signed enacted in 2013, and became effective January 1, 2014. It is named after Jenna Sneva, a young woman who sustained at least 11 concussions while participating in club soccer and competitive skiing. She suffered physical and cognitive deficits (difficulty thinking) from repeated brain injuries. Jenna's Law essentially extends Max's Law to nonschool-affiliated sports for youth athletes.
Zachery Lystedt Law (WA HB 1824)
The Zachery Lystedt Law is the first state concussion law to be passed in the U.S. It has similar requirements to the Oregon concussion laws, mandating that parents and athletes sign informed consents annually and that athletes suspected to have sustained a concussion be removed from play and not be allowed to return until cleared by a licensed health care provider. The law is named after Zachery Lystedt, who sustained a life-threatening injury after returning to play football after a concussion.