State's new concussion law goes into effect

August 3, 2011 5:10:10 PM PDT
As high schools begin preseason football practice, players and coaches are getting used to some new rules. Texas has a new concussion law that goes into effect this season. The law sets strict guidelines on when and how a student can return to play after a concussion.

Houston area schools are starting football practice this year in record-breaking heat. But the players are actually safer in one way: Texas has a new school concussion law.

"Anybody that shows a sign or a symptom of a head injury during play cannot return to play the rest of the day, period," Kinkaid Athletics Interim Director TJ Bath said.

Medical tests now show that how you handle a concussion today can affect how a young player's brain will function later in life.

The law requires coaches to watch for symptoms, pull players when concussion is suspected, and after a concussion, players must have medical approval before returning to play.

"So there's proper recovery time," Texans quarterback Matt Schaub said.

Schaub has suffered concussions and he thinks the law is good. He also supports the impact test, a new memory test many schools are giving players.

"I think it's huge because it gives you a baseline to go off of when you get a ding or something happens, it gives you a baseline to go off of to see how serious it might be," he said.

The impact test is a $5 computer memory test. They're taking it at Kincaid and Katy ISD, Second Baptist and Alief ISD, Pearland and Fort Bend ISD and dozens of area schools. It's given before the season, and if a player suffers a concussion, it's given again and the results are compared. But more than testing, what you're seeing now is a change in attitude.

"There will be people that will say I had that problem when I was that age and I'm OK, that's just not gonna work anymore," Bath said.

The impact test is not required by the new law, and not every school is offering it. But parents can get this $5 memory test for their student athlete on their own at the

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