Local athletic trainers back push for state licensing program

A football player bangs helmets with another during a high school game. One gets up slowly, a little stunned.

Off the field, someone asks him how he is. “I’m fine, just got my bell rung. I can go back in,” he says. He didn’t lose consciousness and doesn’t have a headache. He knows where he is and can see straight.

Should he go back in?

Who determines that, particularly in California, wields a huge influence on that athlete’s future — possibly even his life.

A certified athletic trainer would likely pull him and send him through a weeklong concussion protocol with a step-by-step return-to-play checklist that monitors his symptoms.

But California doesn’t require its athletic trainers to be licensed, which allows just about anyone on the sideline to make that determination.

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