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Concussions at all levels of sports have received a great deal of attention and a state law has been passed to address this issue. Adolescent athletes are particularly vulnerable to the effects of concussion. Once considered little more than a minor "ding" to the head, it is now understood that a concussion has the potential to result in death, or changes in brain function (either short-term or long-term). A concussion is a brain injury that results in a temporary disruption of normal brain function. A concussion occurs when the brain is violently rocked back and forth or twisted inside the skull as a result of a blow to the head or body. Continued participation in any sport following a concussion can lead to worsening concussion symptoms, as well as increased risk for further injury to the brain, and even death.

• Headache, dizziness, poor balance, moves clumsily, reduced energy level/tiredness
• Nausea or vomiting
• Blurred vision, sensitivity to light and sounds
• Fogginess of memory, difficulty concentrating, slowed thought processes, confused about surroundings or game assignments
• Unexplained changes in behavior and personality
• Loss of consciousness (NOTE: This does not occur in all concussion episodes.)

BY-LAW 2.68: GHSA CONCUSSION POLICY: In accordance with Georgia law and national playing rules published by the National Federation of State High School Associations, any athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion shall be immediately removed from the practice or contest and shall not return to play until an appropriate health care professional has determined that no concussion has occurred. (NOTE: An appropriate health care professional may include, licensed physician (MD/DO) or another licensed individual under the supervision of a licensed physician, such as a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or certified athletic trainer who has received training in concussion evaluation and management.
a) No athlete is allowed to return to a game or a practice on the same day that a concussion (a) has been diagnosed, OR (b) cannot be ruled out.
b) Any athlete diagnosed with a concussion shall be cleared medically by an appropriate health care professional prior to resuming participation in any future practice or contest. The formulation of a gradual return to play protocol shall be a part of the medical clearance.
c) It is mandatory that every coach in each GHSA sport participate in a free, online course on concussion management prepared by the NFHS and available at at least every two years -beginning with the 2013-2014 school year.
d) Each school will be responsible for monitoring the participation of its coaches in the concussion management course, and shall keep a record of those who participate.

*Player and parental education in this area is crucial - that is the reason for this document. Refer to it regularly.

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This form must be signed by a parent or guardian of each student who wishes to participate in GHSA athletics. By entering your name in the area below you argree to allow your child to participate in a sport at Pickens High School I HAVE READ THIS FORM AND I UNDERSTAND THE FACTS PRESENTED IN IT.
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