The West Virginia Board of Education recently approved new rules for reporting head injuries in student athletes.
The new rules will require high schools to disclose the risks of sports-related head injuries with parents, coaches and the student athletes. Any head injuries also now will be required to be reported within 30 days.
Earlier this year, legislators passed a bill requiring the Secondary School Activities Commission to draft rules aimed at preventing youth concussions. Among other things, it requires schools to increase awareness and warn players of the risks of continuing to play after suffering a concussion.
The legislation also requires schools to create a written procedure for recognizing injuries and then clearing athletes to return to play, including the written permission of a licensed health care professional.
The SSAC presented its proposed rule to the Legislative Oversight Committee on Education Accountability last month. The board is set to consider that rule then put it out for a 30-day public comment period.
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., released a statement about the new rules that he said will help prevent concussions in student athletes.
"I'm so proud that West Virginia raised the bar in how we treat concussions with student athletes," Rockefeller said in his statement. "This reflects a new way of thinking about protecting our children, and it's something that I've been pushing for at the federal level.
"Nothing is more important than keeping our children safe so they can continue to play the sports they love."
Rockefeller recently introduced the Youth Sports Concussion Act of 2013, which would facilitate up-to-date safety standards for helmets and other protective sports equipment.