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Many States Lack 'Return-to-Learn' Concussion Laws

Currently, only eight states have laws regarding returning to the classroom after concussion

head injury

MONDAY, Nov. 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- All U.S. states have "return-to-play" laws designed to protect young athletes who've suffered a concussion, but as of May 2016, only eight states had "return-to-learn" laws aimed at managing children's concussion recovery, according to a review published online Nov. 7 in Pediatrics.

The eight states with return-to-learn laws include: Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Vermont, and Virginia. Only two states require any concussion education for school personnel -- with both targeting coaches and/or nurses, and not teachers.

The findings highlight a gap, the study authors said, since some children who suffer concussions are athletes -- but all of them are students.

"Some kids suffer concussions during recreational activities, others are injured in accidents," senior researcher Monica Vavilala, M.D., told HealthDay. "They're not all athletes. But they are all students." Vavilala is director of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center and a professor of pediatrics, anesthesiology and pain medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. Washington was the first state to pass a return-to-play law, back in 2009.

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