Hwang, Kupchick Back Concussion Safety Legislation For Young Athletes

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FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Fairfield State Reps. Tony Hwang (R-134) and Brenda Kupchik (R-132) are supporting a bill pushing for concussion safety. 

The two state representatives are supporting the Act Concerning Youth Athletics And Concussions to "provide greater safety to youths by requiring youth athletes suspected of suffering from a concussion to get written clearance from a medical provider before returning to play," according to a press release. The bill aims to reduce concussions in children. 

Under the bill, the State Department of Education would develop or approve a concussion education plan and have "sports leagues provide parents or guardians with information on concussions so they know what to look for if their child is suspected of sustaining a concussion," according to the release. All student athletes and parents would be required to "review and complete this plan each year before the student is allowed to participate in any sport activities," according to the release. 

State law, which Hwang and Kupchick supported, requires coaches, who have coaching permits through the state Department of Education, to be trained before they start the athletic season, according to the release.

"I stand in strong support of this initiative toward protecting our student-athletes from concussion related injuries," Hwang said. "I hope this bill starts the process of changing our sporting culture of 'no pain, no gain' toward a philosophy that an athlete, coaches, trainers and parents balance competition and pursuit of excellence to long term health of each student-athlete. I also want to particularly thank the community advocates who worked so hard for the passage of this bill – it truly reflects the success of a participatory democratic process.”

Kupchick agreed. 

“We want to take the initial bill passed in 2012 and go even further not just rely on coaches but have parents and athletes are informed about the current research on concussions and what the negative impacts can be on kids," she said. "Studies show side effects are near preventable if parents, coaches and kids know what to do to prevent the injury in the first place."

Hwang had Natalie Intemann a student at Trumbull High School, testify on the concussion legislation at the public hearing, according to the release.

“It is my generation and the generations that come after me that need to be protected. You invest in the brainpower of our country when you support this bill," Intemann said. 

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