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Schools drafting sports-related head injury policy

'It's good for the safety of our student athletes'

October 24, 2011
A district-wide policy regarding sports-related head injuries to Dudley-Charlton Regional School District student athletes is being developed, as the district aims to meet the state mandate for such a policy by the beginning of the winter sports season.

High profile injuries in both professional and student-level sports in the past few years have caused states across the country to adopt laws that set standards for dealing with concussions and other sports-related head injuries. The trend reached the Commonwealth last year, when the state legislature passed the Massachusetts Sport Concussion Law, which the Department of Public Health approved in June.

The law covers all middle and high school level extracurricular programs — even the marching band — in schools that are members of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA). It mandates that coaches, players and their parents take part in a state-approved concussion awareness program before the start of each season, which can be fulfilled through an online course. Players must also report any history of head injuries to the school prior the each season, and notify the school if they sustain a concussion outside of sports. Finally, a player suspected of suffering a concussion must be removed from the practice or game and cannot return the same day. If the player is indeed diagnosed as having sustained a concussion, they can rejoin sports only with the written consent of a doctor.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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