It is presently the standard of care to keep children who have sustained concussion/traumatic brain injuries off the field and not to return to play until they are cleared by a competent professional. Assemblywoman, Pamela R. Lampitt (D Burlington and Camden) has introduced a bill in the New Jersey Assembly, which would require any student who suffers a concussion to be evaluated by a doctor or other health care provider and to get written clearance before the child can go back to school. Under the bill, each school district that deals with students with disabilities would be responsible for enforcing any limits on a student’s activities that were determined by the health care provider.
The statement accompanying the bill states:
This bill provides that a student enrolled in a school district who sustains a concussion must receive an evaluation by a physician trained in the evaluation and management of concussions and written clearance from the physician to return to school. In the event that the physician provides notice that the student requires accommodations for learning, the school district must immediately implement the accommodations and notify all teachers and staff who have contact with the student of the accommodations. The school district’s child study team will promptly evaluate the student in order to identify the manner in which the accommodations will be provided to the student during recovery and the need for the continuation or adjustment of the accommodations, and to determine the duration of the accommodations.
The bill also provides that a student enrolled in a school district who sustains a concussion is prohibited from engaging in any physical activity at school including, but not limited to, recess, physical education, sports, or cheerleading. The student may not participate in any physical activity until he is evaluated by a physician and receives written clearance to participate.
The sponsor’s intent is to have the child study team use the physician’s diagnosis and recommendations to guide accommodations upon the student’s return to school for the period of time prescribed by the physician.