Many parents claim they have the power to look straight into the eyes of their children and decide whether they are telling the truth.
Apparently in North Carolina, parents also have the power to look straight into the skulls of their children and decide whether they are concussed.
Some lawmakers in North Carolina hope to soon leave the brain health of youth football players up to the parents screaming on the sideline, instead of licensed medical professionals.
North Carolina law — the Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act, which has been in effect since 2011 — currently requires immediate removal of any player who shows concussion symptoms during a game. Vocativ reports House Bill 116 would adjust that law, eliminating the requirement that a physician or nurse practitioner needs to clear a player before being allowed to re-enter the game. If HB 116 is passed, it would leave that decision — whether a concussed youth can return to the game — to the child’s parents.
The backlash against the bill was sharp — apparently even from one of its sponsors.
“That’s going to be changed,” North Carolina Rep. Greg Murphy told USA Today on Tuesday. “It’s not necessary because I don’t believe parents are medical professionals and they are not qualified to make such decisions.
Dr. Katie Flanagan, Director of Athletic Training at East Carolina University, said that section of the proposed bill could cause issues because, as she told Vocativ, “Even the most well-trained parents have biases that can compromise their children’s health.”
WNCT of Greenville reports on the good parts of HB 116: It mandates education on concussions, heat-related illness and sudden cardiac arrest for those involved in school sports, and it would implement a database for reporting game-related injuries.
But allowing parents, who may not fully understand the science of brain trauma or who may be playing sports vicariously through their children, the green light has alarmed many across the nation.
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