Springfield, Ill. – State Representative Carol Sente, D-Vernon Hills, advanced legislation earlier this week to help reduce the risk of brain injuries in high school athletics.
“As more and more research
emerges on the long-term consequences associated with repetitive concussive and
sub-concussive head injuries, it is clear that we must make it a priority to do
all we can to keep our children and young adults safe and healthy by supporting
ways to prevent these injuries from occurring,” Sente said. “Working alongside
coaches provided a great perspective. While we have so many great coaches in
our area who are extremely knowledgeable on this topic, this bill will ensure
that all youth athletes receive that same high standard of treatment and
protection all around the state.”
House Bill 5431 requires the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) to develop a mandatory online concussion certification program for high school coaches and athletic directors. The initiative is supported by IHSA, the Chicago Bears Football Club, The Chicagoland Youth Football League, and The Sports Legacy Institute. Over the past year, Sente has held public forums with a variety of experts and stakeholders to collaborate on a proposal to reduce the head injury risk associated with full-contact hitting during high school football practice and other sports.
“This legislation offers Illinois an opportunity to serve as a leader in youth safety by encouraging youth athletic organizations to adopt policies that have been implemented on the professional, collegiate, and high school levels,” Sente said. “I look forward to continuing to work with community members and the IHSA on measures to increase safety for student athletes.”
HB 5431 is currently awaiting action in the Senate. For more information, please contact Sente’s full-time constituent service office at (847) 478-9909, or email RepSente@gmail.com.