Student athletes with concussions must get medical clearance before getting back into the game under a new law signed Thursday by Gov. Pat Quinn.
The law, which takes effect immediately -- also requires education for coaches, parents, referees and players about concussion symptoms.
"The health of the athletes comes first. We cannot sacrifice that. We can't just throw somebody back into a game because they want to go even if they may have a serious head injury," Quinn said at the bill-signing event attended by young athletes and Chicago Bears players at Soldier Field.
The law's sponsors hope that by treating concussions properly, fewer young athletes will suffer long-term consequences.
Many athletic directors in the state support the law because it puts schools all on the same page. But some worry about lack of funds to pay for trained staff to monitor athletes and make sure they're removed from play after a suspected concussion.
During a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune, Quinn recalled being injured in a football game nearly 50 years ago.