Section 22-11E-1

Legislative findings.

(a) The Legislature finds the following:

(1) Concussions are one of the most commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational activities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as 3,900,000 sports-related and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year. A concussion is caused by a blow or motion to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull. The risk of catastrophic injuries or death is significant when a concussion or head injury is not properly evaluated and managed.

(2) Concussions are a type of brain injury that can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works. Concussions can occur in any organized or unorganized sport or recreational activity and can result from a fall or from participants colliding with each other, the ground, or with obstacles. Concussions occur with or without loss of consciousness, but the vast majority occurs without loss of consciousness.

(3) Continuing to play with a concussion or symptoms of head injury leaves the young athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury and even death.

(b) The Legislature recognizes that there exists within the State of Alabama the need for guidelines and other pertinent information to inform and educate health care providers, school systems, coaches, youth athletes, and their parents or guardians of the nature and risk of concussion and brain injury, including continuing to play after a suspected concussion or brain injury.

(Act 2011-541, p. 989, §1.)