Publication Title: 
American Journal of Public Health
Publication Date: 
Tuesday, October 9, 2012

This study focuses on the myriad state-level public health law responses to the rise in traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in organized youth sports. It analyzes how TBIs are identified, processed, and treated on occurrence and contextually frames the related public health law interventions (voluntary and involuntary) that states have taken to respond to the rise in reported TBIs during the last decade. This study also systematically analyzes state-level legal frameworks (proposed and existing) that purport to address TBIs, by layering an empirical public health law framework over the typical components of such laws and the expected derivative public health outcomes based on the components of those laws.

It finds 44 states and Washington, DC, passed youth sports TBI laws between 2009 and 2012. No state’s youth sports TBI law focuses on primary prevention. Instead, such laws focus on increasing coaches’ and parents’ ability to identify and respond to TBIs and reducing the immediate risk of multiple TBIs.