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Concussion Protocol

Concussion Protocol

What is a Concussion?

“Concussions occur from forces applied directly or indirectly to the skull that result in the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the brain. The sudden change in cerebral velocity elicits neuronal shearing, which produces changes in ionic balance and metabolism. When accompanied by clinical signs and symptoms, changes at the cellular level are commonly referred to as mild traumatic brain injury, or concussion. Concussions occur in males and females of all ages and in all sports, but are most common in contact and collision activities.”

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, chest or any part of the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. Concussions can occur in any sport or recreation activity. So, all coaches, parents, and athletes need to learn concussion signs and symptoms and what to do if a concussion occurs.

Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:

  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
  • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
  • Dizziness or “seeing stars”
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue, wanting to sleep all the time

Some symptoms of concussions may be immediate or delayed in onset by hours or days after injury:

  • Concentration and memory complaints
  • Irritability and other personality changes
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Psychological adjustment problems and depression
  • Disorders of taste and smell

If you suspect the athlete has a concussion, use the following guidelines:

  • Remove the athlete immediately from play
  • Notify the Athletic Trainer as soon as possible
  • Ensure that the athlete is evaluated by an appropriate health-care professional
  • Inform the athlete’s parents or guardians about the possible concussion and give them information on concussion
  • Keep the athlete out of play the day of the injury and until an appropriate health-care professional gives final clearance for full participation in sports
  • Click on the following link for Concussion Home Instructions

The SMUHSD has an Athletic Trainer at each of our six district schools who can monitor and guide your child through their concussion and return to academics/sports. Please have them follow up each day with the on site Athletic Trainer to discuss any symptoms or to work through the Return to Play protocol. The Athletic Trainer and the physician can work together to help ensure the best care, and safe return of your child to their sporting activity.