Proposed changes to preventing student concussions

Providence, RI – Rhode Island lawmakers are considering a bill that would tweak the state's laws related to concussions in student athletes. The proposal requires schools to give athletes a test that measures the way their brains work.

That evaluation is called an ImPACT test. It's a series of computer games measuring memory and reaction time. The scores give doctors a sense of how an athlete's brain functioned before and after a concussion.

Elizabeth Connallon with the brain injury association of Rhode Island says the tests make it easier to monitor a student's healing process.

"This is one tool that lets you know that the person is on the road to recovery, or has recovered, and then is able to go back and play," she says.

Connallon says that kind of close monitoring prevents second concussions which are often more harmful than the first.

The ImPACT test is currently optional for schools and costs about two dollars per student. The Rhode Island interscholastic league is fully supportive of requiring the tests, but some coaches have complained that they take valuable time away from team practice.

More details
Read the legislation here

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