We’ve compiled a list of resources that all administrators, coaches, parents and athletes should review.
HEADS UP to Youth Sports
Concussion Awareness Information Sheet
Review the following CDC Parent / Athlete Concussion Information Sheet:
Coach Basic Concussion Training Course (Free)
The National Alliance for Youth Sports Concussion Training Video should be completed every two years:
Identify Suspected Cases of Concussions
The highest medical authority at a practice or game is the person who is in the best position to diagnose a suspected concussion and to make the call. The presence of (or immediate access to) a medical doctor (MD), doctor of osteopathy (DO), athletic trainer (AT), physician’s assistant (PA), nurse practitioner (NP), or paramedic (PM) trained in concussion recognition is ideal. However, in cases where medical professionals are not present or immediately available, a person should be present who is at least EMT certified or is currently certified in Red Cross Community First Aid or the equivalent.
Signs observed by parents, guardians, or sports staff: appears dazed or stunned; is confused about the assignment or position; forgets instructions; is unsure of game, score, or opponent; moves clumsily; answers questions slowly; loses consciousness (even briefly); shows behavior or personality changes; can’t recall events prior to hit or fall; and can’t recall events after hit or fall.
Symptoms reported by player: headache or pressure in the head; nausea or vomiting; balance problems or dizziness; double or blurry vision; sensitivity to light; sensitivity to noise; feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy; concentration or memory problems; confusion; or does not “feel right”.
What to do: If athletes report or exhibit one or more of the signs listed above or say they “just don’t feel right” after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body, they may have a concussion and need to be further evaluated.
Danger signs which require immediate medical attention: one pupil larger than the other; drowsiness or inability to wake up; headache that gets worse and does not go away; weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination; repeated vomiting or nausea; slurred speech; convulsions or seizures; inability to recognize people or places; increasing confusion, restlessness, or agitation; unusual behavior, loss of consciousness (even brief). If one or more of these danger signs occur after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body: call 9-1-1 or transport the athlete immediately to the emergency room.
On Field Medical Status Evaluation (Example Questions)*:
Orientation Questions: (ask the athlete)
|What period/quarter/half are we in?||Who scored last?|
|What stadium/field is this?||Do you remember the hit?|
|What city is this?||What team did we play last?|
|Who is the opposing team?||Repeat the following words: Girls, Dog, Green.|
Concentration: (ask the athlete)
Repeat the days of the week backwards (starting with today)
Repeat the months of the year backward (starting with December)
Repeat these numbers backward 63, (36), 419 (914), 6294 (4926)
Complete 5 jumping jacks/Complete 5 sit ups.
Word List Memory: (ask the athlete)
Repeat the three words from earlier: Girls, Dog, Green
*Other superior sideline assessment tools are available including SCAT, ImPact, King Devit, and sideline apps such as HitCheck.
Athlete Removal by Sports Official and Re-Entry into Contest
When an athlete has been removed from a contest by a sports official due to signs or symptoms of a concussion, the only persons who should clear an athlete’s reentry are a medical doctor (MD), doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO), physician’s assistant (PA), registered nurse practitioner (NP), paramedic (PM), or athletic trainer (AT). If none of these are present on-site at the contest, the athlete shall not return to that contest or any subsequent contest until cleared.
If a Concussion Is Suspected, the Following Actions Should Be Taken
u Remove the athlete from play – if any of the signs and symptoms are observed, remove the athlete from play. When in doubt, sit them out!
u Make sure the athlete is evaluated by an MD or DO who is experienced in evaluating concussions.Let the professionals judge the severity.
uInform the athlete’s parents / guardians and provide them with the CDC fact sheet on “Concussions for parents” to help them monitor the athlete for signs and symptoms: http://www.cdc.gov/headsup/pdfs/custom/headsupconcussion_fact_sheet_for_parents.pdf
uKeep the athlete out of play the day of the injury AND until an MD or DO experienced in evaluating concussion says it’s OK for the athlete to return. The MD or DO must provide written medical clearance and the athlete should be asystematic at rest and with exertion. The MD or DO should require the athlete to follow a progressive return to play protocol. Here is a link to the CDC’s progressive return to play protocol: https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/return_to_sports.html