Representative Rick Ladd says a law requiring high schools to be more vigilant in dealing with concussions needs to be broadened to include younger student athletes.
Ladd, a Haverhill Republican, says the law passed last year only applies to sports in grades 9 through 12.
The law requires high school student athletes be removed from games if they are suspected of having a concussion. Students cannot return to the field until they get clearance from a doctor and a parent’s permission.
The law also requires that school districts distribute information about concussions to parents before their children can play.
Ladd says his proposal would keep those requirements, but also apply them to students playing sports in middle schools and junior high schools.
“A student is just as likely to get a concussion playing a contact or a competitive sport in those middle school grades, junior high grade as they are in the high school.”
Ladd, a former school principal, says many school districts have already voluntarily applied the law to middle school athletics.
A study released last year by the CDC found the number of children athletes going to hospitals with concussions rose 60 percent in the past decade.