Andrew J. Kane


Broadly, this paper questions whether Ohio’s recently enacted youth concussion legislation adequately addresses the public health issue of sport-related brain injury, and contends that it does not. To that end, it first addresses the significance of traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, explaining that the failure to protect youth athletes from these potentially fatal conditions has largely resulted from a lack of awareness of their influence on neurological functions, and of their potential to cause serious brain injury. Next, this paper examines several legislative responses enacted by other states, all of which were in place before Ohio’s, and compares the recently enacted Ohio legislation to them. This paper then advances several reasons why the Ohio legislation is ineffective in achieving its stated goals, and the particular ways by which it fails to protect youth athletes from the significant risks associated with traumatic brain injury and concussions. Finally, it offers Ohio’s legislature suggestions to bring the state’s law up to a standard advocated for by brain health experts.