Proposal would require young athletes to learn about brain injuries

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SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – There’s been a lot of attention on NFL players with long-term brain damage linked to concussions. That has prompted a state lawmaker to focus on younger athletes. He’s proposing every student be trained on how to spot a brain injury before they can play any sports.

The law is already on the books, but only for coaches.

This bill, sponsored by Sen. Bill Soules from Las Cruces would require student athletes to undergo training about brain injuries.

Just like coaches, athletes would take a short course on the signs and symptoms of concussions and what to do in the event of one. Parents then have to sign off that their child took the training course once a year.

Sen. Soules said the bill is all about keeping kids safe.

“I’m a retired high school teacher and this bill actually came from my students when we were talking about this. They said, ‘nobody tells us’ and it was like, we ought to make that a requirement,” Sen. Soules said.

Sen. Soules said the b ill would also help students identify if a fellow classmate has a concussion.

Football and girl’s soccer are among the top sports with the highest rates of concussion.

The bill has good traction so far. It’s been through two committees already and is headed to the Senate floor for a vote.

Sen. Soules said he would expect the governor to sign it into law.

Sen. Soules introduced the same legislation during the last 60-day session, but it was tabled in a House committee.

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