Concussions and the High School Athlete
It is well known that participating in athletics can be rewarding, however, there are certain risks an athlete must face while being involved with athletic participation. One of those risks is the potential for injury. Most injuries are minor and heal over time, but one cannot overlook the seriousness of head injuries.
The Fredonia Central School District approved a Concussion policy in November 2010. Having a policy approved by the Board of Education was a mandate from the NYSPHSAA. The Districts policy was written in accordance to the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the NYSPHSAA. The Districts “Return to Play Protocol” is in accordance to the National Federation of State HS Associations and the International Conference on Concussion in Sport, Prague 2004.
Fredonia Central School District Concussion Policy
The Fredonia Central School is committed to the safety of all students in all endeavors. This Concussion Policy was developed in recognition of the District’s commitment.
The District’s “Initial Concussion Assessment” of students with signs of a concussion during interscholastic sports play was developed in accordance with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. The District’s “Return to Play Protocol” is in accordance to the National Federation of State High School Associations and the International Conference on Concussion in Sport, Prague 2004.
It is the policy of the District that any athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion (such as loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion, or balance problems) shall be immediately removed from the contest and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health care professional.
The following resource documents, attached and made a part of this policy, shall be used in carrying out the purposes of this Policy:
- Concussion Checklist (Revision #3)
- Physical Evaluation (Revision #3)
- Summary and Agreement Statement of the 2nd International Conference on Concussion in Sport, Prague 2004
These tools and the concussion policy will be reviewed with the coaches by the school nurse at the coaches’ yearly training. As part of the training, all coaches must sign each year in acknowledgement that they have reviewed the policy.
Return to Play Protocol Following a Concussion
The following protocol has been established in accordance to the National Federation of State High School Associations and the International Conference on Concussion in Sport, Prague 2004.
When an athlete shows ANY signs or symptoms of a concussion:
- The athlete will not be allowed to return to play in the current game or practice.
- The athlete should not be left alone, and regular monitoring for deterioration is essential over the initial few hours following injury.
- The athlete should be medically evaluated following the injury.
- Return to play must follow a medically supervised stepwise process.
The cornerstone of proper concussion management is rest until all symptoms resolve and then a graded program of exertion before return to sport. The program is broken down into six steps in which only one step is covered a day. The six steps involve the following:
- No exceptional activity until asymptomatic for seven consecutive days.
- Light aerobic exercise such as walking or stationary bike, etc. No resistance training.
- Sport specific exercise such as skating, running, etc. Progressive addition of resistance training may begin.
- Non‐contact training/skill drills.
- Full contact training in practice setting.
- Return to competition
If any concussion symptoms recur, the athlete should drop back to the previous level and try to progress after 24 hours of rest.
The student‐athlete should also be monitored for recurrence of symptoms due to mental exertion