File JJIF-E: Concussion Information Sheet

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A concussion is a brain injury, and all brain injuries are serious. They are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a blow to another part of the body with the force transmitted to the head. They can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works.


Even though most concussions are mild, all concussions are potentially serious and may result in complications including prolonged brain damage and death if not recognized and managed properly. In other words, even a bump on the head can be serious. You can’t see a concussion, and most sports concussions occur without loss of consciousness. Signs and symptoms of concussion may show up right after the injury or can take hours or days to fully appear. If your student-athlete reports any symptoms of concussion, or if you notice the symptoms or signs of concussion yourself, seek medical attention right away.
 
Symptoms may include one or more of the following:
 
Headaches
  “Don’t feel right”
“Pressure in head”
Fatigue or low energy
Nausea or vomiting  
Sadness
Neck pain
Nervousness or anxiety
Balance problems or dizziness
 Irritability
Blurred, double, or fuzzy vision
 More emotional
Sensitivity to light or noise
 Confusion
Feeling sluggish or slowed down
 Concentration or memory problems
Feeling foggy to groggy
(forgetting game plays)
Drowsiness
Repeating the same question/comment
Change in sleep patterns
Amnesia
 
   
        
   
Signs observed by teammates, parents or coaches include:
 
Appears dazed
Shows behavior or personality changes
Vacant facial expression
 Can’t recall events prior to hit
Confused about assignment  
Can’t recall events after the hit
Is unsure of game, score, or opponent 
Seizures or convulsions
Any change in typical behavior or personality
Forgets plays
Moves clumsily or displays uncoordination 
Slurred speech
Answers questions slowly
 

   
This document is adapted from the CDC and the 3rd International Conference on Concussion in Sport Consensus Statement (2009).
What can happen if my child keeps on playing with a concussion or returns too soon?

Athletes with the signs and symptoms of concussion will be removed from play immediately. Continuing to play with the signs and symptoms of concussion leaves the young athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury. There is an increased risk of significant damage from a concussion for a period of time after that concussion occurs, particularly if the athlete suffers another concussion before completely recovering from the first one. This can lead to prolonged recovery, or even severe brain swelling (second impact syndrome) with devastating and even fatal consequences. It is well known that adolescent or teenage athletes will often under-report symptoms of injuries, and concussions are no different. As a result, education of administrators, coaches, parents and students is the key for student-athletes’ safety.

If you think your child has suffered a concussion

Any athlete even suspected of suffering a concussion will be removed from the game or practice immediately. No athlete may return to activity after an apparent head injury or concussion, regardless of how mild it seems or how quickly symptoms clear, without medical clearance. Close observation of the athlete should continue for several hours. M.S.A.D. No. 75 requires the consistent and uniform implementation of well-established return-to-play concussion guidelines that have been recommended for several years and reflected in Board policy (JJIF):

Any athlete suspected of having sustained a concussion or other head injury during a school-sponsored athletic activity including but not limited to competition, practice or scrimmage, must be removed from the activity immediately.

No student will be permitted to return to the activity or to participate in any other school-sponsored athletic activity on the day of the suspected concussion.

Any student who is suspected of having sustained a concussion or other head injury shall be prohibited from further participation in school-sponsored athletic activities until he/she has been evaluated and received written medical clearance to do so from a licensed health care provider who is qualified and trained in concussion management.

You should also inform your child’s coach if you think that your child may have had a concussion. Remember, it’s better to miss one game than miss the whole season. And when in doubt, the athlete sits out.


I have read this document and understand M.S.A.D. No. 75’s policy concerning head injuries and potential concussion.

_____________________________             __________________________                       _______ 
Student-athlete Name Printed                     Student-athlete Signature                                Date

_____________________________           ______________________________                 ________
Parent or Legal Guardian Printed              Parent of Legal Guardian Signature                    Date



REVIEWED: August 8, 2013
REVIEWED: September 12, 2013 

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