NC backpedals on giving parents back-to-play power

North Carolina lawmakers came under fire recently for a proposed bill provision that would allow parents to decide when their kids could return to play after a concussion. The public’s indignation at the idea caused a quick backpedal, and the provision has since been removed from the bill.



The incident has sparked debate about how much control parents should have over their children’s recovery post-concussion. In a perfect world, parents would always consult doctors before making decisions about kids’ health and then always follow the medical advice. And so, in a perfect world, the NC law would work well to protect student athletes.


But unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In the heat of the moment, especially when a medical professional isn’t on hand, parents could find themselves making decisions that they aren’t qualified to make. While giving parents control of their kids’ wellbeing in the event of sports-related concussion may sound like a good idea, in practice it would only put students back into games before they’re ready more frequently.


In the end, North Carolina lawmakers recognized the truth: An athlete with a head injury should never return to play until a doctor gives the all-clear, no matter what, every time.


*Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.