SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As of February 25, 2020
Title: An act relating to reporting of student head injury information sustained during athletics and other activities.
Brief Description: Reporting of information about diagnosed concussions of students sustained during athletics and other activities.
Sponsors: House Committee on Education (originally sponsored by Representatives Irwin, Doglio, Davis, Pollet and Leavitt).
Brief History: Passed House: 2/18/20, 97-0.
Committee Activity: Early Learning & K-12 Education: 2/26/20.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON EARLY LEARNING & K-12 EDUCATION
Staff: Benjamin Omdal (786-7442)
Background: According to the DOH, concussions are a type of brain jury, caused by a blow or jolt to the head or body, that disrupt the way the brain normally works. The consequences of, and treatments for, concussions and other head injuries vary greatly and depend on the cause and severity of the injury.
In Washington, policies for the management of concussion and head injury in youth sports have been in place since 2009, with the enactment of the Zackery Lystedt Law. This law requires that coaches, youth athletes, and parents be informed about the dangers of sports-related head injuries and that a youth athlete who has been suspected of getting a head injury be cleared by a trained and licensed health care provider before returning to play.
Since the early 1990s, the DOH has required trauma care providers to submit information on the incidents, severity, and causes of trauma, including traumatic brain injury, to a state-wide registry.
In 2018, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began developing a National Concussion Surveillance System. One stated goal of the system is to provide national estimates of sports-related concussions among youth that occur both in and outside of organized sports. Reporting requirements are to-be-determined, including whether youth coaches or schools will be required reporters.
Summary of Bill: Public School Concussion Reporting. Beginning with the 2020-21 school year, public schools must annually report information about each diagnosed concussion sustained by a student during athletic and other activities using a procedure developed by the DOH.
At a minimum, public schools must report:
the student's grade and gender;
whether the student had a previous concussion;
the event date and location of the diagnosed concussion, including when during the activity the injury occurred and on what type of surface;
the type and level of activity that the student was participating in at the time of the event and whether it was a practice or competition;
any known cause of the event;
whether protective equipment was worn;
who initially examined the student and whether the student was removed from the activity at the time of the event; and
follow-up information related to whether the student was given a written authorization to return to the activity and the amount of time before the student was authorized to return to the learning environment.
Department of Health Procedure. The DOH must develop a procedure to collect concussion reporting information from public schools, beginning in the 2020-21 school year. Beginning October 1, 2021, and by October 1st annually thereafter, the DOH must report a summary of the diagnosed concussion information received in the prior school year to the appropriate committees of the Legislature and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The report must include rates, patterns, trends, and other relevant information.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.