October 21, 2017

Concussion Policy


Concussion Policy

 

I.    Purpose of Policy

 

As it is been conclusively proven that the health risks associated with re-injury after a concussion are significantly increased, the purpose of this policy is to protect participants in school sports and inform coaches, athletes, and athletes’ parents and guardians about the protocols established to prevent and minimize the effects of school athletics-related concussions and the possible dangers of re-injury associated with a premature return to full participation in athletic activities.

 

 

II.   Policy Scope

 

This policy applies to all student athletes who participate in the Hartford School District’s athletic activities.

 

 

III. Definitions

 

For the purposes of this policy:

 

  • Baseline Data means the information initially collected which serves as a basis for comparison with data subsequently acquired.

 

  • Concussion means an injury that results in disturbance to brain function that is caused by a blow to or motion of the head or body that results in the brain moving rapidly inside the skull.

 

  • Concussion Management means the protocol established to: (1) remove a player suspected of having a concussion from further participation; (2) monitor a concussed athlete; (3) track recovery; and (4) allow for a graduated return to play once the individual is declared symptom free.

 

  • Concussion Reduction Techniques means techniques or skills intended to reduce the incidence of concussion.

 

  • Graduated Return to Play Plan means a gradual stepped-based program to return athletes to play after a concussion.  [Hartford has adopted Gradual Return to Play Following a Concussive Injury guidelines developed by the University of Vermont Medical Center (formerly Fletcher Allen Healthcare).]

 

  • Health Care Provider means a medical doctor licensed under 26 VSA Chapter 23, an osteopathic physician licensed under 26 VSA Chapter 33, an advanced practice registered nurse licensed under 26 VSA Chapter 28, a physician’s assistant licensed under 26 VSA Chapter 31, or a Certified Athletic Trainer; all of whom will have, within the preceding five years been specifically trained in the evaluation and management of concussions and other head injuries.  For purposes of this policy, an immediate family member may never act as a Health Care Provider for a member of their own family.

 

  • Post-Concussion Impact Test is administered by the HHS/HMMS Athletic Department(s) and compared with baseline data to determine if the concussed athlete has returned to his/her normal pre-injury range of behaviors

 

  • Principal means the principal of a school or any person—such as the athletic director— designated by the principal to carry out a particular function.

 

  • School Athletic Team means an inter-scholastic athletic team or club sponsored by a school. 

 

  • Student Athlete means a student who is a member of a school-sponsored athletic team or club.

 

 

 

IV.     Policy Statement

 

Since it is recognized that a concussion represents a serious head injury that can be incurred by student-athlete participating in a practice or a game in any sport due to a fall or from a collision with another player, the ground, or an obstacle, the superintendent, building administrators, and athletic directors—working in concert—shall develop a set of protocols that will constitute the district’s action plan for addressing all concussion-related matters and in the process bring the district in compliance with state law.

 

This document shall be known as the “Hartford School District Concussion Management Protocol.”  It shall be reviewed at least annually and amended, as necessary, to reflect current medical practice and advice.  It will also be included in the sports participation information that is provided to families on an annual basis.

 

The following information shall be contained in this protocol as related to concussion management:

 

  • Athletic Director: Duties and Responsibilities

Obtaining written clearances as required

Disseminating concussion-related materials to parents and student-athletes, so that

-  parents receive the concussion related information required by the statute

-   all students receive meaningful age-appropriate exposure to concussion-related information

Ensuring that students suspected of having suffered concussions are disqualified from engaging in school-related athletic activity until they have been cleared to return to such activity by a properly qualified individual, with appropriate “return to play protocols” in place

Notifying the student athlete’s school nurse, teachers, coaches, and counselor when a student athlete is suspected of having suffered a concussion

 

  

  • Athletic Trainers: Duties and Responsibilities

  Administer Post-Concussion Impact Test

  Conducting the baseline data collection for all athletes

 

  • Coaches: Training, Duties and Responsibilities

   Follow the CDC’s guidance and training materials regarding concussions.

Thoroughly review 16 V.S.A. 1431 and all of the CDC’s concussion-related materials prior to the commencement of coaching activities and then annually thereafter.

 

Each coach of a school athletic team will receive training no less frequently than every two years on how to recognize the symptoms of a concussion or other head injury.

 

Ensure and verify that the student athlete materials and the parent/guardian materials are distributed in accordance with the statute, and that the signed forms required by the statute are collected before the student athlete may participate in training or competition.

 

Ensure that the student athlete’s parent or guardian is informed of a suspected concussion as soon as practicable but no later than within 24 hours of the time that the injury has occurred.

 

Ensure that no student athlete suspected of having a concussion may participate in athletic training or competition until the student athlete has been cleared to return to play and has returned to the classroom.

 

  • School Nurse: Duties and Responsibilities

Determining that student athlete is cleared to return to play in accordance with the Hartford School District Concussion Management Protocol

Verifying health care provider concussion training within preceding 5 years

 

  • Principal: Duties and Responsibilities

Oversight of Athletic Director(s) to ensure that:

- parents receive the concussion related information required by the statute

- all students receive meaningful age-appropriate exposure to concussion-related information

- students suspected of having suffered concussions are disqualified from engaging in school-related athletic activity until they have been cleared to return to such activity by a properly qualified individual, with appropriate “return to play protocols” in place.

 

  • The Graduated “Return to Play” Plan

 

  • School Employee Training Requirements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V.       References