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New concussion law protecting athletes to take effect statewide

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(Toledo News Now) -

Deaths and serious injuries of athletes in recent years has brought the word, "concussion," into light. It's a dangerous injury that can sideline an athlete immediately. A new Ohio law is working to make sure those injured aren't returning to the field too soon.

The days of ignoring concussions are closer to an end. Ohio's new Return to Play law goes into effect Friday, making it tougher for student athletes to return to the field after the injury.

Aaron Sage, athletic trainer for Whitmer High School in Toledo, believes concussions are under-reported and this new law is just what the doctor ordered.

"I think this is doing a good job of making everyone aware of the long-term consequences and making sure, helping, to ensure the safety of our athletes," said Sage.

Headache, confusion and nausea are just a few symptoms of a concussion. Sage says the new law is designed to help protect athletes from being forced to return to their sport too soon.  

"The longer I'm in the profession, the better the education is, the more information we have, and coaches make better decisions. And hopefully parents now, with this new law, can help us make great decisions to protect their kids," said Sage. 

The Return to Play law will require parents to sign a form before their child even begins a sport. The form describes what a concussion is, the signs, symptoms and risks. It also states if a child suffers a concussion, that he or she must be cleared by a doctor in order to return to play.

Sage says the goal is to keep kids safe.

"We all want to protect our athletes. We all want to protect our kids. And, I think this is helping us, giving us another way to help protect our athletes, so they're able to do and play with their kids when they're older," said Sage.

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