With all that’s been discussed and changed with regard to head injuries at the professional and college levels, Americans may be surprised to know that their high school and junior high children don’t necessarily have the same protection from state to state. A coach may be ignorant of a child’s concussion and, seeking to win the game, unknowingly put them right back in the middle of danger. Head injuries are especially true of high school football players and even high school cheerleading (imagine hitting your head against the sideline turf when your peers fail to catch your fall).
In Wyoming, one state senator hopes to change this for his constituents, mainly the parents of children who love to play sports. Bill Landen, a Republican from Casper, is looking to clamp down on this problem, but faces a moderate ho-hum from congressional leaders since Wyoming coaches are already under contract in their districts to take all precautionary measures for underage safety. Is it necessary for the state to require coaches to receive very specific training and education on head injuries so that they can know what to look for? Is it necessary for the state to require student athletes to obtain written consent from a physician before coming back on the field after a concussion? One would hope so.
The question is, perhaps, more of an idealistic one. Does a state government need to reinforce something that school districts already require from their coaches? Is the risk really so severe as to make it a legislative conversation in the state of Wyoming? Who knows. As parents, teachers, and coaches, hopefully we never lose sight of a child’s safety in an effort to earn wins on a scoreboard. Landen may just end up drawing attention to a national concern at a local level. If so, props.