New rules go into effect to help keep kids from suffering concussions

New rules go into effect to help keep kids from suffering concussions »Play Video
In this still image taken from video provided by Providence Health Systems, Ronan Dooney tosses a ball as part of therapy after suffering multiple concussions playing football.

A new law takes effect in Oregon that expands requirements aimed at preventing kids from suffering multiple concussions while playing sports.

There was already a youth sports concussion law on the books but it only applied to school sports programs. The new one extends those requirements to all other youth sports, including community- and church-based programs.

Both laws require coaches who suspect a player has suffered a concussion to have a doctor's clearance before letting that child participate in sports again.

Ronan Dooney went through therapy after suffering multiple concussions playing football.

“It was really hard to look at lights, and I got really dizzy and stuff. The second concussion, I had like nausea,” he said.

“You can't see it, and so you don't realize that it too needs to heal just like a broken bone,” said his mom, Sheri.

Laurel Kirby, a Providence speech and language pathologist, says if it is suspected that an athlete has suffered to a concussion, the athlete is pulled off the field and is required to see a doctor before being allowed to play or practice.

“That makes sure they don’t get hurt worse than they (did during) the initial hit,” Kirby said.

Oregon's new requirements are called “Jenna's Law,” named after downhill skiing Olympic hopeful Jenna Sneva, who lives near bend.

Sneva suffered 10 concussions before realizing the repeated concussions were making it hard to keep up with her schoolwork.

It's important to know that coaches just have to suspect a child suffered a concussion for guidelines to come into play. That leaves it up to a doctor to diagnose whether a child has actually suffered a concussion.