Concussion bill advances

A bill seeking to protect young athletes who might have suffered brain trauma has been advanced from first-round debate by the Nebraska Legislature.

The bill (LB260) by state Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha is similar to those already enacted around the country and aims to raise awareness of symptoms and prevent athletes from returning to practice or competition too soon. It would require public and private high schools, as well as other youth sports organizations, to provide coaches with training on how to recognize symptoms of concussions.

Athletes and their parents or guardians also would be given information each year on the symptoms and risks. The bill would require a licensed health care professional to evaluate an athlete and provide written clearance before the athlete is allowed to resume participation..