Safety‎ > ‎

Concussion

Concussion Fact Sheet

 On May 14, 2009 the Governor of Washington at that time (Christine Gregoire) signed the Zackery Lystedt Law. Effective July 26, 2009, the Lystedt Law directly affects youth sports and head injury policies particularly how you, as a coach, need to respond to player injuries. The new law requires that:

 1.An informed consent must be signed by parents and youth athletes acknowledging the risk of head injury prior to practice or competition

 2.A youth athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury must be removed from play
when in doubt, sit them out

 3.A youth athlete who has been removed from play must receive written clearance from a licensed health care provider prior to returning to play

 THE FACTS

 
A concussion is a brain injury. All brain injuries are serious.

 
All concussions are serious.

 
Concussions can occur without loss of consciousness.

 
Concussions can occur in any sport.

 
Recognition and proper management of concussions, when they first occur, can help prevent further injury or even death.


 WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?
 
 A concussion is an injury that changes how the cells in the brain normally work. A concussion is caused by a blow to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull. Even a
ding, getting your bell rung, or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. Concussions can also result from a fall or from players colliding with each other or with obstacles, such as a goalpost, even if they do not directly hit their head.

 The potential for concussions is greatest in athletic environments where collisions are common. Concussions can occur, however, in any organized or unorganized sport or recreational activity. As many as 3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year.

 RECOGNIZING A POSSIBLE CONCUSSION

 To help recognize a concussion, you should watch for the following two things among your athletes:

 1.A forceful blow to the head or body with force that is transmitted to the head,which results in rapid movement of the head.
 -and-

 2.Any change in the athlete
s behavior, thinking, or physical functioning. (See the signs and symptoms of concussion.)

 SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

 

Signs observed by coaching staff

Appears dazed or stunned or vacant expression

 
Is confused about assignment or position

 
Forgets sports plays

 
Is unsure of game, score, or opponent

 
Moves clumsily

 
Answers questions slowly or with slurred speech

 
Loses consciousness (even briefly) or has seizures or convulsions

 
Shows behavior or personality changes

 
Cant recall events before or after hit or fall

Symptoms Reported By Athlete

Headache or pressure in head

 
Nausea or vomiting

 
Balance problems or dizziness

 
Double or blurry vision

 
Sensitivity to light or noise

 
Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy

 
Concentration or memory problems

 
Confusion

 
Does not feel right


 
Neck pain, fatigue, drowsiness or low energy

 
More emotional, irritable or sad

 
amnesia

 
repeating the same question

 
talking nonsense or off subject or unable to formulate words

 
unable to understand plays

 Athletes who experience any of these signs or symptoms after a bump or blow to the head must be kept from play until given permission to return to play by a health care professional(see Licensed Health Care Provided list below) with experience in evaluating for concussions. Signs and symptoms of concussion can last from several minutes to days, weeks, months, or even longer in some cases.
 
 Remember, you can
t see a concussion and some athletes may not experience and/or report symptoms until hours or days after the injury. Concussions are usually mild but concussions are potentially serious and may result in complications including prolonged brain damage and death if not recognized and managed properly. If you have any suspicion that your athlete has a concussion, you should keep the athlete out of the game or practice.

 PREVENTION AND PREPARATION
 As a coach, you can play a key role in preventing concussions and responding to them properly when they occur. Here are some steps you can take to ensure the best outcome for your athletes and the team:

 
Educate athletes and parents about concussion.
Talk with athletes and their parents about the dangers and potential long-term consequences of concussion. For more information on long-term effects of concussion, view the following online video clip: http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/tbi/Coaches_Tool_Kit.htm#Video. Explain your concerns about concussion and your expectations of safe play to athletes, parents, and assistant coaches. Pass out the concussion fact sheets for athletes and for parents at the beginning of the season and again if a concussion occurs.

 
Keep on hand a copy of the concussion information sheet signed by both parent and child.

 
Insist that safety comes first.
 oTeach athletes safe playing techniques and encourage them to follow the rules of play.
 oEncourage athletes to practice good sportsmanship at all times.
 oMake sure athletes wear the right protective equipment for their activity (helmet, cup, catcher gear, etc.). Protective equipment should fit properly, be well maintained, and be worn consistently and correctly.
 oReview the athlete fact sheet with your team to help them recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion.

 
Teach athletes and parents that its not smart to play with a concussion. Sometimes players and parents wrongly believe that it shows strength and courage to play injured. Discourage others from pressuring injured athletes to play. Dont let athletes persuade you that theyre just fine after they have sustained any bump or blow to the head. Ask if players have ever had a concussion.

 
Prevent long-term problems. A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the firstusually within a short period of time (hours, days, or weeks)can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long-term problems. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result in brain swelling, permanent brain damage, and even death. This more serious condition is called second impact syndrome. Keep athletes with known or suspected concussion from play until they have been evaluated and given permission to return to play by a health care professional with experience in evaluating for concussion. Remind your athletes: Its better to miss one game than the whole season.
 

 
 
ACTION PLAN

 

 WHAT SHOULD A COACH DO WHEN A CONCUSSION IS SUSPECTED?

 1.Remove the athlete from play. Look for the signs and symptoms of a concussion if your athlete has experienced a bump or blow to the head. Athletes who experience signs or symptoms of concussion shall not be allowed to return to play. When in doubt, keep the athlete out of play.

 2.Ensure that the athlete is evaluated right away by an appropriate health care professional. Do not try to judge the severity of the injury yourself. Health care professionals have a number of methods that they can use to assess the severity of concussions. As a coach, recording the following information can help health care professionals in assessing the athlete after the injury:
Cause of the injury and force of the hit or blow to the head
Any loss of consciousness (passed out/knocked out) and if so, for how long
Any memory loss immediately following the injury
Any seizures immediately following the injury
Number of previous concussions (if any)

 3.Inform the athlete
s parents or guardians about the possible concussion and give them the fact sheet on concussion. Make sure they know that the athlete should be seen by a health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion.

 4.Allow the athlete to return to play only with permission from a health care professional with experience in evaluating for concussion. A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the first can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long-term problems. Prevent common long-term problems and the rare second impact syndrome by delaying the athlete
s return to the activity until the player receives appropriate medical evaluation and approval for return to play.

 Licensed Health Care Providers

 What licensed health care providers are trained in the evaluation and treatment of concussions/brain injuries and authorized to allow the athlete to return to play?

 Medical Doctors (MD)
 Doctor of Osteopathy (DO)
 Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP)
 Physicians Assistant (PA)
 Licensed Certified Athletic Trainers (ATC)

 Research is currently being done to determine which other licensed health care providers may have sufficient training to qualify to authorize return to play. Little League will update leagues as this information becomes available.
 
 If you think your athlete has sustained a concussion
take him/her out of play, and seek the advice of a health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion.


 http://www.cdc.gov/ConcussionInYouthSports Adapted from the CDC and the 3rd International Conference on Concussion in Sport Document created 6/15/09. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 I am the custodial parent or legal guardian authorized to make medical and other decisions for the participant above. By checking the check-box below, I acknowledge that I have read this document and discussed the same with my child participant. 

http://www.cdc.gov/ConcussionInYouthSports   Adapted from the CDC and the 3rd International Conference on Concussion in Sport Document created 6/15/09.  U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Player Name(required)____________________ 

I am the custodial parent or legal guardian authorized to make medical and other decisions for the participant above.  By writing my name below, I acknowledge that I have read this document and discussed the same with the my child participant.

Parent Name(required)___________________ Parent Email(required)__________________

Comments