Bill aimed at protecting student athletes from concussions

A bill aimed at protecting student athletes that get concussions has been filed, and the Valley Athletic Trainers Association is backing it.

It's a bruising to the brain.

"Dizziness, ringing in the ears, disorientation, confusion|the list of symptoms goes on and on," said Bob Aparicio, Jr. the president of the Valley Athletic Trainers Association.

Some schools have been known to keep students playing in the field when they are still suffering from it.

"The problem is if you let them back too soon, and the brain hasn't healed properly, you can get what's called second impact concussion syndrome, and it could be fatal if not taken care of properly," said Aparicio. Now a bill has been filed in the state legislature to help prevent and manage concussions in schools.

"We would like to see it passed because this is just another tool for us to help us take a better care of our athletes here in the Rio Grande Valley," said Aparicio.

It would require student athletes to get information about concussions before they can participate in a sport.

The bill also requires schools to have a concussion management team that would include a physician, athletic trainer and neuropsychologist.

If a neuropsychologist is not available, a physician assistant or practice nurse would fill the place.

Each would have to have training in the evaluation, treatment and management of concussions, and if a student athlete gets a concussion, the athlete would not be able to play sports for a minimum of 24 hours.

Jennifer Murphy, a trainer at Mission High School has information packets ready to go and a slide show presentation.

She shows counselors, nurses, school administrators and coaches information about concussions.

Murphy said she's confident that the bill will pass, and this information will be crucial in gearing up the school and community for the new law.

"And we're just waiting for some finalization of the bill before we start going out and making sure everybody is educated and geared up and ready to go in the fall," said Murphy.

If the bill passes, it would take effect September 1st.