March is Brain Injury Awareness Month  

March 07, 2012
Nebraska has a CONCUSSION AWARENESS LAW-LB 260 which goes into effect July 1, 2012, and has implications for schools and youth sports organizations.

Be "In the Know" about Sports Concussions

A concussion...
... IS a brain injury. It may be caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body.
... CAN OCCUR during practices or games in any sport or recreational activity.
... CAN HAPPEN even if you have not been knocked out.
... CAN BE SERIOUS even if you have just been “dinged” or “had your bell rung.”
... CAN CHANGE the way your brain normally works.


What are the symptoms of a concussion?

One or more of the symptoms listed below may be noticed or the athlete may "just not feel right" soon after, a few days after, or even weeks after the injury.

Signs Observed by Coaching Staff

Symptoms Reported by Athlete

• Is confused about assignment or position
• Forgets an instruction
• Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
• Moves clumsily
• Answers questions slowly
• Loses consciousness (even briefly)
• Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes
• Can't recall events prior to hit or fall
• Can't recall events after hit or fall
• Headache or "pressure" in the head
• Nausea or vomiting
• Balance or blurry vision
• Bothered by light or noise
• Feeling sluggish, hazy foggy or groggy
• Difficulty paying attention
• Memory problems
• Confusion

What should be done if a concussion is suspected?

  • Athletes, tell your coaches, athletic trainers, and parent. Never ignore a bump or blow to the head even if you feel fine. Also, tell your coach right away if you think you have a concussion or if one of your teammates might have a concussion.
  • Get a medical check-up. A doctor or other health care professional can tell if you have a concussion and when it is ok to return to play.
  • Give yourself time to get better. If you have a concussion, your brain needs time to heal. While your brain is still healing, you are much more likely to have another concussion. Repeat concussions can increase the time it takes for you to recover and may cause more brain damage. It is important to rest and not return to play until you get the ok from a healthcare professional that you are symptom-free.

What is the Concussion Awareness Law LB260?

Nebraska's new Concussion Awareness law LB 260 was approved by Governor Heineman on April 9, 2011. The bill becomes operative July 1, 2012. The intent of the legislation was to emphasize the importance of the issues surrounding sports concussions in young athletes and the use of procedures and precautions for keeping young athletes safe.

LB260 applies to students in any Nebraska school or athletes 19 years of age or younger participating in any organized sports. The following are key provisions of the law:

  • Schools and sports organizations need to make training available to all coaches
  • Schools and sports organizations need to provide information to athletes and parents annually prior to the start of practice or competition
  • Athletes should be removed from play if reasonably suspected of having a concussion
  • Parents shall be notified of the injury, observed symptoms, and action taken
  • Athletes shall not be permitted to return to play until evaluated by a licensed health care professional and given written clearance
  • Athletes shall not be permitted to return to play until written parent permission is given

Where can you find additional information?

Approved trainings and additional resources are posted on the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website. More information is available on the Brain Injury Association of Nebraska website.