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UIL to treat concussions more seriously
AUSTIN -- Following the approval of Robert Scott, commissioner of education for the University Interscholastic League (UIL), a new policy on concussion management will be in place this fall, as high school football players strap on the pads and get back to work.
Recent studies have revealed that concussions may in fact have long-term effects on the brain. Because of this, the UIL will now require extra care and evaluation before an athlete can resume participation in his or her sport.
The Legislative Council of the UIL approved the amendment to its concussion policy and protocol last October, and Scott gave final approval March 25. The new measures are set to take effect Aug. 1.
Under the current UIL rules, an athlete who sustains a concussion may return to competition the same day -- if the student is “symptom free” 15 minutes after evaluation and testing. Under the new guidelines, however, no athlete will be allowed to return to play on the same day.
The new rules will leave all “return to play” decisions to a licensed health-care professional. A written clearance will be required, and any additional concussions will be treated seriously, and will require further medical evaluation.
“The more educated and trained professionals involved, the better,” said Coach Billy “Doc” Marshall, athletic trainer at Floresville High School. “It may cost injured athletes a few more practices or games, but longevity and healthy lives are our goals. More visits to doctors leads to more money out-of-pocket for everyone, but ultimately this is a move in the right direction -- with safety as our No. 1 goal.”
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