SDA Concussion Policy
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 “ding” or 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 child 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:
“Pressure in head”
“Don’t feel right”
Nausea or vomiting,
Fatigue or low energy,
Neck pain Sadness,
Balance problems or dizziness
Nervousness or anxiety,
Blurred, double, or fuzzy vision
Irritability, Sensitivity to light or noise,
More emotional,
Feeling sluggish,
Feeling foggy or groggy,
Concentration or memory problems,
Repeating the same question/comment,
Change in sleep patterns
Signs observed by teammates, parents and coaches include:
Appears dazed, Vacant facial expression,
Is unsure of game, score, or opponent,
Moves clumsily or displays incoordination,
Answers questions slowly, Slurred speech,
Shows behavior or personality changes
Can’t recall events prior to hit,
Can’t recall events after hit, Seizures or convulsions,
Any change in typical behavior or personality,
Loses consciousness

Athletes with the signs and symptoms of concussion should be removed from play immediately. Continuing to play with the signs and symptoms of a 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 to severe brain swelling (second impact syndrome) with devastating and even fatal consequences.

Any athlete even suspected of suffering a concussion should 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.

Well-established return to play concussion guidelines have been recommended for several years: “a youth athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game shall be removed from competition at that time” and “...may not return to play until the athlete is evaluated by a licensed heath care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussion and received written clearance to return to play from that health care provider”. You should also inform your child’s coach if you think that your child may have a concussion.

I have read and understand what a concussion is and how it may be caused. I also understand the common signs, symptoms, and behaviors related to concussions. I agree that my child must be removed from practice/play if a concussion is suspected. I understand that it is my responsibility to seek medical treatment if a suspected concussion is reported to me. I understand that my child cannot return to practice/play until providing written clearance from an appropriate health care provider to his/her coach. I understand the possible consequences of my child returning to practice/play too soon.
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