Concussions, a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI), are injuries to the brain that occur as the result of a fall, motor vehicle accident, or any other activity that results in an impact to the head or body. Essentially, a concussion results from the brain moving back and forth or twisting rapidly inside the skull. In most cases, the symptoms of a concussion generally resolve over a short period of time; however in some cases symptoms can last for weeks or longer. In a small number of cases, or in cases of re-injury during the recovery phase, permanent brain injury is possible. Children and adolescents are more susceptible to concussions and take longer than adults to fully recover.
Any student-athlete suspected of a head injury will be removed from practice/competition immediately. Student athletes should understand and communicate any signs/symptoms promptly to staff and parents/guardians.
- Be aware of signs and symptoms.
- Communicate with the Physician and the School (Nurse, Coach, Athletic Office) for any head injury that occurred during a school sponsored activity.
- Submit medical paperwork to the School Nurse or Athletic Trainer immediately following any head injury.
- Submit clearance note to the School Nurse or Athletic Trainer.
If your child is diagnosed with a head injury or concussion it is required that the child see a Physician after being symptom free for 24 hours in order to obtain a clearance note.
Concussion Baseline Testing
Baseline testing is a pre-season exam conducted by a trained health care professional. Baseline tests are used to assess an athlete’s balance and brain function (including learning and memory skills, ability to pay attention or concentrate, and how quickly he or she thinks and solve problems), as well as for the presence of any concussion symptoms. Results from baseline tests (or pre-injury tests) can be used and compared to a similar exam conducted by a health care professional during the season if an athlete has a suspected concussion. Baseline testing generally takes place during the pre-season—ideally prior to the first practice. It is important to note that some baseline and concussion assessment tools are only suggested for use among athletes ages 10 years and older.
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Once the clearance note is received, it will be sent to the School's Chief Medical Officer (CMO). The child will be evaluated by the School Nurse or the Athletic Trainer. After CMO approval, the child begins a five day gradual progression of activity known as the Return to Play Protocol (RTTP). The return to physical activities steps are as follows:
- Level 1- light activity
- Level 2- low impact aerobic activity
- Level 3- moderate aerobic activity
- Level 4- submaximal aerobic activity
- Level 5- maximal aerobic activity
The return to physical activities steps for interscholastic sports are as follows:
- Level 1- low impact, non-strenuous, light aerobic activity
- Level 2- higher impact, exertion and moderate aerobic activity
- Level 3- sport specific activity, non-contact activity
- Level 4- sport specific activity, no-contact drills
- Level 5- full contact training, intense aerobic activity
The School Nurse or Athletic Trainer will notify the CMO once the child has successfully completed the RTTP.