STUDENT SPORTS – CONCUSSION AND HEAD INJURIES
Concussion and Head Injury Management in Student Sports
A. Duties of the Athletic Director or Administrator in Charge of Athletics:
1. Annually, each spring/summer, the Athletic Director or the administrator in charge of athletics, if there is no Athletic Director, shall review, with the District's Medical Advisor and/or athletic trainer, any changes that have been made regarding the management of concussion and head injuries.
2. By the conclusion of the school year, the Athletic Director or administrator in charge of athletics will identify the competitive sport activities in the District for which compliance with the concussion and head injury policy is required. A list of competitive sports activities and the District's policy and procedures will be distributed to all members of the coaching staff.
B. Training of Coaches
All coaches shall undergo the district's mandatory training in head injuries and concussion management yearly beginning in 2015. The training may be presented by the District's Medical Advisor, athletic trainer, or through live or media-based programs offered by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) as determined by the Superintendent and/or his/her designee. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made available a tool kit, "Heads Up: Concussion in High School Sports," which has information for coaches, athletes, and parents.
Yearly, beginning in 2015, each coach shall read, sign, and return the CIAC's most up-to-date "Concussion and Head Injury Annual Review Form."
No coach may begin coaching a sport until these two obligations are fulfilled.
C. Parent/Student Information Sheet
Each athletic season, the district will provide parents with concussion and head injury information through the district's medical advisor, athletic trainer, or through other live or media-based programs. Immediately following the presentation of such information, parents will be provided with, and must return, the "Student and Parent Concussion Informed Consent Form." If the parent cannot or does not attend this presentation, they must view on their own and check-off that they have viewed the CIAC's on-line video for concussion and head injury information, as referenced by the Athletic Director.
The "Student and Parent Concussion Informed Consent Form" shall be signed one time each year, prior to beginning the first sport in which the student athlete participates, and returned by the student athlete and the athlete's parent/guardian prior to the student athlete's initiating practice or competition. This information sheet will be incorporated into the parent permission packet which permits students to participate in extracurricular athletics. Once signed, the consent form is valid for the remainder of the school year.
D. Athletic Trainer's Responsibility - Impact Software
All students participating in athletics from grades 7 – 12 will also participate in the Litchfield School District's ImPACT Concussion Management Program. Each student will have an individualized log-in and baseline record before practicing or competing in the athletic program.
If a student has a substantiated concussion or is suspected of having a head injury/concussion, the Athletic Trainer will reassess the student using the ImPACT software by comparing latest results with the baseline. This information, in combination with a medical clearance from a doctor will be considered before return to practice and/or competition.
E. Coaches' Responsibility
1. Based on mechanism of injury, observation, history and unusual behavior and reactions of the athlete, even without loss of consciousness, assume a concussion has occurred if the head was hit and even the mildest of symptoms occur. The student athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game shall be immediately removed from play.
2. If confusion, unusual behavior or responsiveness, deteriorating condition, loss of consciousness, or concern about neck and spine injury exist, the athlete should be referred at once for emergency care.
3. If no emergency is apparent, the athlete should be monitored regularly regarding mental status, attention, balance, behavior, speech and memory until stable over a few hours. If appropriate medical care is not available, an athlete even with mild symptoms should be sent for medical evaluation.
4. No athlete suspected of having a concussion should return to the same practice or contest, even if symptoms clear in 15 minutes.
F. Return to Play After Concussion or Head Injury
1. Any athlete removed from play because of a concussion must have medical clearance from an appropriate health care professional before he/she can resume practice or competition.
2. In addition, any athlete removed from play because of a concussion must be reassessed by the Athletic Trainer using the ImPACT software. The results, in combination with a medical clearance from a doctor, will be considered before return to practice and/or competition.
3. After medical clearance, the return to play by the athlete should follow a step-wise protocol determined by the health care provider as appropriate with provisions for delayed return to play based on return of any signs or symptoms.
Litchfield Board of Education
Regulation adopted: September 2, 2010
Regulation Revised: August 14, 2015