BOE Concussion Management Policy

The Board of Education of the Indian River School District recognizes that concussions and head injuries are commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational activity and can have serious consequences if not managed carefully. Therefore, the District adopts the following policy to support the proper evaluation and management of head injuries.

Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. Concussion occurs when normal brain functioning is disrupted by a blow or jolt to the head. Recovery from concussion will varyAvoiding re‐injury and over‐exertion until fully recovered are the cornerstones of proper concussion management.

While district staff will exercise reasonable care to protect students, head injuries may still occur. Physical education teachers, coaches, nurses and other appropriate staff will receive training to recognize the signs, symptoms and behaviors consistent with a concussion. Any student exhibiting those signs, symptoms or behaviors while participating in a school sponsored class, extracurricular activity, or interscholastic athletic activity shall be removed from the game or activity and be evaluated as soon as possible by an appropriate health care professional. The school certified athletic trainer or school nurse depending on the situation will notify the student’s parents or guardians and recommend appropriate monitoring to parents or guardians.

If a student sustains a concussion at a time other then when engaged in a school‐sponsored activity, the district expects the parent/legal guardian to report the condition to the school certified athletic trainer or school nurse so that the district can support the appropriate management of the condition.

The student shall not return to school or activity until authorized to do so by their family health care professional. Any student who continues to have signs or symptoms upon return to activity must be removed from play and be reevaluated by their family health care provider. The school and the school’s physician reserve the right to make the final decision on return to activity, including physical education class and after‐school sports.

The Superintendent and the district’s certified athletic trainer, in consultation with appropriate district staff, including the school’s physician, will develop regulations and protocols to guide the return to activity.

Concussion Return to Play Protocol

When an athlete shows ANY signs or symptoms of a concussion (Refer to Concussion Management Card):

  1. The athlete will not be allowed to return to play in the current game/practice à NOTIFY PARENT/GUARDIAN!
  2. The athlete should not be left alone, and regular monitoring for deterioration is essential over the initial few hours following injury.
  3. The athlete should be medically evaluated following the injury
  4. Return to play must follow a medically supervised stepwise process.


Following a concussion, the athlete will have to repeat the online “IMPACT” neurocognitive baseline testing that they took at the beginning of their sports season. Following their post-injury test, results from both will be compared.

Once an athlete no longer has signs, symptoms, or behaviors of a concussion and is cleared to return to activity by their family health-care professional and/or school physician, he or she should proceed in a step-wise fashion to allow the brain to re-adjust to exercise. The school and the school’s physician reserve the right to make the final decision on return to activity including physical education class and after‐school sports. In most cases, the athlete will progress one step each day. The return to activity program schedule may proceed as below following medical clearance:


Progressive Physical Activity Program

  1. Step 1: Light aerobic exercise. 5-10 minutes on an exercise bike or light jog; no weight lifting, resistance training, or any other exercises.
  2.  Step 2: Higher impact, higher exertion, moderate aerobic exercise. No resistance training.
  3. Step 3: Sport specific non-contact training drills. May begin light weight lifting, resistance training, and other exercises.
  4. Step 4: Sport specific activity, non-contact drills. Higher resistance training (w/ spotter).
  5. Step 5: Full contact training drills and practice practice. Intense aerobic activity.
  6. Step 6: Return to full activities including game play with clearance from School Medical Director.

 

IF SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION RE-OCCUR, OR IF CONCUSSION SIGNS AND/OR BEHAVIORS ARE OBSERVED AT ANY TIME DURING THE RETURN TO ACTIVITY PROGRAM, THE ATHLETE MUST DISCONTINUE ALL ACTIVITY AND DROP BACK TO THE PREVIOUS ASYMPTOMATIC LEVEL AND TRY TO PROGRESS AGAIN AFTER A FURTHER 24-HOUR PERIOD OF REST HAS PASSED.

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