Ohio’s return to play law

Did you know that approximately 3,000 Ohio youth aged 18 and younger are treated in emergency departments on average each year for sports-related traumatic brain injuries?

On April 26, 2013, a new law in Ohio goes into effect that will have an impact on you and your family if you happen to have any young athletes in your life. This is the ‘return to play’ law and has to do with youth and concussions and when they can return back to their sport after a head injury. The law is intended to protect the brains of young athletes by promoting the recognition and proper response to concussions when they first occur in order to prevent further injury or even death

According to www.healthyohioprogram.org , the Ohio return to play law requires the
following for interscholastic athletics:

  • Prohibits a school from allowing a student to practice for or compete in interscholastic athletics until the student has submitted a signed form stating that the student’s parent, guardian or other person having care or charge of the student has received a concussion and head injury information sheet created by the Department of Health.
  • Requires a coach or referee to remove a student athlete exhibiting signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with having sustained a concussion or head injury from practice or competition.
  • Prohibits an athlete to return to play on the same day as he/she is removed.
  • Prohibits a coach or referee from allowing a student to return to practice or competition from which the student was removed, or to participate in any other practice or competition forwhich the coach or referee is responsible, until the student has been assessed and cleared for return by a physician or by any other licensed health care provider authorized by the school.
  • Institutes new training requirements for coaches and referees of interscholastic athletics

Check out more FAQ’s about the law

Recently, Dr. Kleiner, a neurosurgeon at Dayton Children’s spoke about concussions and the return to play law. Check out this clip to see what he has to say:

Treatment options for kids with concussions


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We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.