The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be developing national guidelines for managing sports-related concussions for student athletes.
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey announced Tuesday in Nutley that the CDC has agreed to adopt a key element of stalled legislation they sponsored which would have made such protocols mandatory.
Pascrell says 41 percent of student athletes who suffer concussions return to playing sports too soon, sometimes with serious or even fatal consequences.
The lawmakers say the CDC protocols will be ready by 2014.
Although the rules won't be mandatory, they will provide schools with the first national set of guidelines outlining everything from properly testing a student who suffers a concussion, to setting parameters as to when they can return to sports.
"Since we first introduced our legislation we’ve heard many heartbreaking stories about the permanent brain damage suffered by professional athletes as a result of concussions in the past," Menendez said in a statement.
"This fall, when parents are watching their sons and daughters play playing their hearts out, we want them to know that everything possible is being done – and has been done -- to prevent a life-changing injury on the field."