British Columbia

Youth concussion law proposed in B.C.

A B.C. MLA has introduced legislation that would compel young athletes with suspected concussions to be taken out of competition.

B.C. Liberal MLA Moira Stilwell has proposed legislation she says will help prevent concussions in young athletes.

Stilwell's private member's bill would make it the law to remove a young athlete from play if a concussion is suspected.

The proposed legislation would also bar the athlete from returning to the sport until a doctor signs off on the individual's recovery.

The Concussions in Youth Sport Safety Act "recognizes that the majority of sport-related head injuries occur in athletes younger than the age of 20 and that the frequency of these injuries is increasing," said Stilwell when she introduced the bill Thursday.

Stilwell said she plans to meet with youth sporting associations, health professionals and politicians in the coming months to fully develop and explain the intent of the proposed law.

"This bill is an opportunity for British Columbia to be a national leader with regards to protecting the brains of young athletes from the serious dangers of concussion," she said.

Outside of the legislature, Stilwell said recent high-profile injuries to young athletes are making more people aware of the lasting damage head injuries can cause and more needs to be done to prevent them from happening.