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Written by: Paul Livingston
Thursday, September 20, 2012
South County Youth Soccer is committed to ensuring the safety and health of our athletes playing in both competitive and recreational leagues. This policy provides the guidelines for concussion education and awareness and defines a �Return to Play� action plan.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Even a �ding,� �getting your bell rung,� or what seems to be mild bump to the head can be serious.
Education and Awareness
Coaches, parents and athletes must be educated on the nature and risk of concussion and head injuries, and the philosophy regarding playing after one of these injuries. This education includes written materials regarding how to recognize the signs and symptoms of concussion/brain injury.
On a seasonal basis, all coaches, parents and athletes must review the coaches� concussion material on the Center for Disease Control website and sign (this may be a form or an electronic check off during registration) and acknowledge that the material has been reviewed and understood.
If at any time an athlete appears to have sustained a head injury, the following steps must be followed.
1. Remove the athlete from play. Look for signs and symptoms of a concussion if the athlete has suffered a bump or blow to the head or body. If there is any doubt about the athlete�s state of mind, keep him or her out of play until further evaluation can be made.
2. Have the athlete evaluated by a health care professional experienced in concussion. Do not judge the severity of the injury yourself. Health care professionals have a number of methods they can use to assess the severity of a head injury. The coach can keep a record of the following information in order to help health care professionals in assessing the athlete after the injury:
o Cause of the injury and force of the hit or blow to the head or body
o Any loss of consciousness (passed out/knocked out) and if so, for how long?
o Any memory loss immediately following the injury
o Any seizures immediately following the injury
o 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 must be seen by a physician experienced in evaluating concussions.
4. Keep the athlete out of play the day of the injury and until the athlete has been seen by a physician experienced in evaluating concussions. The parent or guardian must provide to the coach a copy of a written note from the physician indicating that the athlete may resume playing soccer before the athlete can return to practice or a game. The coach is responsible to get the note to soccer office. A repeat concussion before the brain recovers from the first�usually within a short period of time (hours, days, or weeks)�can slow recovery and even increase the likelihood of having long-term problems. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result in edema (brain swelling), permanent brain damage, and even death.
If a second concussion has been sustained in a single season, the athlete will be required to sit out the remainder of the season
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