State laws have reduced concussion risks in high school kids, study finds

A lot has changed in the past 10 years when it comes to sports concussions. As evidence has grown of the devastating effects of traumatic brain injuries, athletes and parents have become increasingly alarmed and demanded preventive steps. Some of the most tangible results of that concern are new laws passed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia that try in some form to address head injuries among young athletes.

A new study, published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, explores how effective those laws have been in reducing recurring concussions. The study found that the new laws have led to a noticeable nationwide decline in repeated concussions among teenagers.

The laws, which vary in strength, were passed between 2009 and 2014. The researchers burrowed into a set of national data tracking the number of concussions and analyzed numbers for different states before and after a law went into effect.

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