CHICAGO - AUGUST 21: (L-R) Hunter Hillenmeyer #92 Nick Roach #53 and Zack Bowman #35 of the Chicago Bears bring down Rock Cartwright #25 of the Oakland Raiders during a preseason game at Soldier Field on August 21 2010 in Chicago Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
It's no wonder that with Hunter Hillenmeyer possibly retiring because of his concussion history, the Bears have shown their support for legislation regarding concussions in youth through high school sports.
The legislation would require the concussion policy to comply with IHSA guidelines and be part of any agreement or contract student athletes must sign to participate in a sport. Schools would also have to provide student athletes and their parents with educational materials detailing the nature and risk of concussions and head injuries.
The legislation would require student athletes who display signs and symptoms of a concussion to get written permission from a health care provider to return to their sport. Some signs—such as a brief loss of consciousness or confusion—are easy to spot. But other more subtle symptoms—like a headache, nausea, lack of concentration, sleeplessness or sensitivity to light—also should not be overlooked.
This looks like it hits the two key areas - education and protection. We do need to remember that concussions are derived from the brain smacking against the skull, and once the brain is damaged, it does not heal.