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Concussions

Concussion Protocol

  • In the event of a concussion mechanism of injury (head contact/impact, impact causing jarring of the head etc.) the athletic trainer will evaluate the athlete and determine if a concussion is present. If a concussion is suspected, the parent will be contacted and the athlete immediately removed from play.
  • In accordance with the Pennsylvania Safety in Youth Sports Act, if a concussion is suspected, the athlete is required to be assessed by a physician (MD/DO). Once that athlete is symptom-free and has been cleared by the physician, they must complete a six-stage progressive return to play protocol before they are able to fully participate in practices and games.
  • This return to play protocol is administered by the athletic trainer. The protocol can ONLY occur once the athlete is symptom free and the athletic trainer has received physician documentation stating the athlete is cleared. The protocol takes approximately 1 week to administer. Just because your athlete was cleared by the doctor does not mean they may return to full participation immediately. The law requires a gradual return to sport to ensure the concussion does not return and is the safest way for the athlete to return to sport. The protocol is outlined below:

Suspected Concussion

Concussion Testing:

  • At the beginning of each sports season, the athletic trainer administers a baseline concussion test called the ImPACT Test. The test is done to establish the athlete’s cognitive function at rest, before a concussion occurs. If a concussion is sustained, the athlete can take the test again to see when his or her symptoms return to normal. This test helps return athlete’s to the playing field safely and efficiently.
  • New athletes will be administered a baseline ImPACT Test and will be re-tested every two years. Ideally, freshmen athletes will be tested and then retested their junior year.
  • To learn more about the ImPACT test, click here: https://www.impacttest.com/

Return to School Protocol:

A concussion may also cause issues or trigger symptoms with classroom activity. The protocol for returning to school, just like returning to sport, is a gradual one. Your doctor will have specific restrictions for school, but for a general guideline please click here: https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/return_to_school.html