Concussion care now priority in prep sports

The fourth concussion was the turning point for the parents of Alfonso Castro.

The Rio Americano High School senior loved football, relished the hitting, cherished the team bonding. An offensive guard and linebacker at an undersized 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, Castro was good enough to earn all-league honors as a junior.

But Castro suffered a concussion while making a tackle in the Raiders' second game of the season against Woodland High. It was his fourth concussion – his third in football – and at the urging of his worried parents, he reluctantly agreed to put away his helmet and not return to the sport.

In January, a new California law takes effect that requires the parents of student athletes to sign a concussion-awareness form before their children can play sports.

Assembly Bill 25 also puts into law an existing requirement by the California Interscholastic Federation, which oversees high school sports, that student athletes who have sustained concussions must obtain medical clearance before returning to play.

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