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Concussion Bill of Rights #9: Coaches and Officials with Safety Training/Certification

Laws needed to require safety training

Most of the more than 4 million volunteer coaches in this country have not received proper safety training. Few carry first aid kits with latex gloves, ice packs, bandages, anti-bacterial cream and smelling salts. With the explosion in the size of organized youth sports programs, many well-intentioned volunteers are coaching a sport they have never played and thus lack any first-hand exposure to its potential dangers. Most states also don't require that high school coaches and officials receive training in basic safety and emergency procedures.

Thus, the ninth right of parents under the Parent's Concussion Bill of Rights is the right to expect that their child's coach and the officials working games have been trained in basic safety and emergency procedures. Laws should be enacted in every state modeled on "Will's Bill," the 2007 Texas law named after Will Benson, the 17-year old Texas football player who died after collapsing during a game, which requires such training.

Every coach needs to be certified in CPR, the use of an AED (which should be available at all games and practices), and first aid, with special attention paid to hydration, cardiac and concussion awareness.

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