Bill Text: NJ AJR115 | 2016-2017 | Regular Session | Chaptered


Bill Title: Designates third Friday in September of every year as Concussion Awareness Day.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 21-9)

Status: (Passed) 2017-07-21 - Approved P.L.2017, JR-16. [AJR115 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2016-AJR115-Chaptered.html

1-2 -

C.36:2-309 to

36:2-310

 


P.L.2017, Joint Resolution No. 16, approved July 21, 2017

Assembly Joint Resolution No. 115

 

 


A Joint Resolution designating the third Friday in September of every year as Concussion Awareness Day.

 

Whereas, A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain and can cause significant and sustained neuropsychological impairment affecting problem solving, planning, memory, attention, concentration, and behavior; and

Whereas, The symptoms of a concussion can last for days, weeks, or months, and may include prolonged headache, vision disturbance, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, impaired balance, confusion, memory loss, ringing in the ears, difficulty concentrating, sensitivity to light, and loss of smell or taste; and

Whereas, Young children and teenagers are more likely to get a concussion, and generally have a longer recovery time, than adults; and

Whereas, The most recent concussion-specific data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that 300,000 concussions are sustained nationwide during sports related activities, and that more than 62,000 concussions are sustained each year in high school contact sports; and

Whereas, According to the University of Pittsburgh's Brain Trauma Research Center, the likelihood of suffering a concussion while playing a contact sport is as high as 19 percent per season of play; and

Whereas, It has been estimated that 34 percent of college football players have experienced at least one concussion, and 20 percent of college football players have endured multiple concussions, while a study conducted by McGill University indicated that 60 percent of college soccer players had reported concussion symptoms at least once during a single season of play; and

Whereas, A 2013 report on pediatric sports injuries, which was released by the non-profit advocacy group Safe Kids Worldwide, found that in 2012, 12 percent of all pediatric sports-related emergency room visits (or 163,670 visits in total), involved a concussion, and nearly half of those visits (47 percent) involved concussions in children aged 12 to 15; and

Whereas, The Safe Kids Worldwide report likely underestimates the number and percentage of pediatric concussion cases, since it focuses on emergency room visits only, and does not account for the four out of five childhood concussion sufferers (82 percent of childhood concussion sufferers) who seek care at their primary care physician, at an urgent care center, or at a sports medicine clinic, rather than in a hospital emergency room; and

Whereas, It is important to properly identify and address a concussion when it occurs, and allow the brain to have adequate time to heal from the trauma, since the failure to do so may leave the victim vulnerable to repeat concussions and a resulting condition known as "second impact syndrome," which can lead to severe mental impairment, brain swelling, permanent brain damage, and even death; and

Whereas, Despite the danger associated with concussions and second impact syndrome, the symptoms of a concussion are often ignored, particularly in the sporting activities where they are most common; and

Whereas, As many as seven in 10 young athletes report that they have continued to play sports even with concussion symptoms, and out of those, four in 10 reported that their coaches were unaware that they had a possible concussion; and

Whereas, Through the passage of P.L.2010, c.94 (C.18A:40-41.1 et seq.), New Jersey has already required schools, school districts, coaches, athletic trainers, school nurses, and school physicians to take certain specified actions to minimize the risk of concussion and better protect students who suffer a concussion while engaged in interscholastic sporting activities; and

Whereas, Medical knowledge surrounding concussions is continuously evolving, and it is important for parents, coaches, athletic trainers, and others to keep abreast of new information in this area, so that concussion response and care can continuously be improved; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    The third Friday in September of each year is designated as "Concussion Awareness Day" to raise awareness of the causes, dangerous effects, and signs and symptoms of concussion and second impact syndrome, particularly in young persons; to improve public understanding in regard to evolving concussion response standards and treatment methods; and to highlight the need for vigilance in recognizing and appropriately responding to the symptoms of a concussion, in order to prevent further serious injury.

 

     2.    The Governor is respectfully requested to issue a proclamation recognizing "Concussion Awareness Day" in New Jersey, and calling upon public officials and the citizens of this State to observe the day with appropriate activities and programs.

 

     3.    This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.

STATEMENT

 

     This joint resolution would designate the third Friday in September of every year as "Concussion Awareness Day" in New Jersey.

     A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain and can cause significant and sustained neuropsychological impairment affecting problem solving, planning, memory, attention, concentration, and behavior.  The symptoms of a concussion can last for days, weeks, or months, and may include prolonged headache, vision disturbance, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, impaired balance, confusion, memory loss, ringing in the ears, difficulty concentrating, sensitivity to light, and loss of smell or taste.  Young children and teenagers, moreover, are more likely to get a concussion, and generally have a longer recovery time, than adults. 

     According to the University of Pittsburgh's Brain Trauma Research Center, the likelihood of suffering a concussion while playing a contact sport is as high as 19 percent per season of play, and it has been estimated that 34 percent of college football players have experienced at least one concussion, that 20 percent of college football players have endured multiple concussions, and that 60 percent of college soccer players experience concussion symptoms at least once during a single season of play.  A 2013 report on pediatric sports injuries, which was released by the non-profit advocacy group Safe Kids Worldwide, found that 12 percent of all pediatric sports-related emergency room visits (or 163,670 visits in total), involved a concussion, and nearly half of those visits involved concussions in children aged 12 to 15.  While these statistics are significant on their own, the Safe Kids Worldwide report likely underestimates the total number and percentage of pediatric concussion cases, since it focuses on emergency room visits only, and does not account for the four out of five (or 82 percent) of childhood concussion sufferers who seek care at their primary care physician, at an urgent care center, or at a sports medicine clinic, rather than in a hospital emergency room. 

     The failure to properly identify and address concussion symptoms when they arise may leave the victim vulnerable to repeat concussions and a resulting condition known as "second impact syndrome," which can lead to severe mental impairment, brain swelling, permanent brain damage, and even death.  Despite the danger associated with concussions and second impact syndrome, as many as seven in 10 young athletes report that they have continued to play sports even with concussion symptoms, and out of those, four in 10 reported that their coaches were unaware that they had a possible concussion. 

     Because there is evidence that concussion symptoms are often ignored, particularly in the sporting activities where they are most common, there is a need to improve public awareness of the seriousness of this condition, and better enable members of the public to recognize the symptoms of a concussion.  In addition, medical knowledge surrounding concussions is continuously evolving, and it is important for parents, coaches, athletic trainers, and others to keep abreast of new information in this area, so that concussion response and care can continually be improved.

 

 

                                

 

     Designates third Friday in September of every year as Concussion Awareness Day.

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