Concussion Management Policy

BRIARCLIFF MANOR UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT

POLICY No. 7503A - STUDENTS
Date Adopted by Board
06/18/2012
03/19/2013
07/28/2014
Date Reviewed.Modified by Board
06/04/2012
03/19/2013
07/28/2014

CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT POLICY

The Board of Education 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. A sports concussion or Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) is any injury to the brain as a result of traumatic forces such as a direct blow to the head, face, neck or body. Signs and symptoms include but are not limited to loss of consciousness, dizziness, headache, vomiting, blurred vision, amnesia, convulsions and seizures as well as personality changes, short-term memory deficits and difficulties with problem solving and general academic functioning in certain cases. Signs and symptoms can be subtle and may not be readily apparent to the student or other individuals without training or may not be reported by students due to the desire to continue participation and lack of awareness of the effects of concussion. The effects of repeated concussions can be cumulative and, after a concussion, there is a period in which the brain is particularly vulnerable to further injury which can result in severe injury and even death. Therefore, it is the policy of this District to support the proper evaluation and management of head injuries and concussions, whether as a result of participation in sports (interscholastic athletics and intramurals) and other school-related or non-school-related activities or attendance in school. It is the further policy of this District to prohibit a student who is believed to have suffered or is determined to have suffered a concussion from return to play or participation in physical education classes, recess and other activities until he or she has been evaluated and cleared by a licensed physician and has been symptom free for seven (7) full days (returning to practice or play, or other participation on day eight). Prior to return to practice or play, or other participation, the School Nurse must receive a written and signed physician's statement that the student has been asymptomatic for seven (7) or more days. The note will be kept in the student's medical file. The District's Chief Medical Officer has the final authority to determine whether or not a student may return to practice or play, or other participation.

Concussion Management Team

The District will establish and maintain a concussion management team to oversee the implementation and delivery of the District's Concussion Management Policy. The team will consist of the Athletic Director, the School Nurse, a Physical Education Teacher, a coach, the District's Athletic Trainer and the District's Chief Medical Officer.

Training

All District coaches (including volunteer coaches), physical education teachers, the Athletic Trainer and the Director of Athletics will be required to participate in a course of instruction regarding the recognition and management of concussions on an annual basis. These individuals must take, on an annual basis, the CDC developed course which is free and can be accessed online at http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/headsup/onlinetraininq.html.

Nurses will take this course biennially. Every employee, volunteer coach or other specified individual that completes the course must present a certificate of completion to the Director of Athletics prior to the start of the athletic season in which they coach.

The District will annually provide information for parents and students regarding concussions, including but not limited to: (1) the definition of the term "concussion"; (2) signs and symptoms of simple and complex concussions; (3) how these injuries occur; and (4) guidelines for return to school and athletic, physical education or other activity participation after suffering a concussion. This information will be made available on the District website as welt as communicated to parents and students, at the start of each sports season, prior to a student's participation in interscholastic athletics.

Before participating in a District athletic program, all student-athletes must establish a neurological baseline record through ImPACT assessment, which will be administered by District personnel. The information established will be used by District staff to assist them in determining an athlete's ability to return to play after suffering a concussion. All student-athletes will be assessed through ImPACT a minimum of once every two years. Students who are not assessed through the ImPACT system will not be allowed to participate in District athletics.

Management

Any student who is believed to have sustained or who has sustained a concussion or other mild traumatic brain injury shall be immediately removed from the athletic or other activity and monitored. If there is any doubt as to whether a student has sustained a concussion, it will be presumed that the student has suffered a concussion until proven otherwise. In an appropriate case, 911 shall be called.

The student's parents will be contacted as soon as is practicable with a recommendation for evaluation by a licensed physician and the student shall not be permitted to resume athletic activity until he or she has been symptom free for at least seven (7) days, has been evaluated and has received written and signed authorization from a licensed physician. This authorization shall be kept on file in the student's permanent health record. The District's Chief Medical Officer has the final authority to decide whether or not the student may return to practice or play, or other participation.

Return to Learn/Play

As part of an effective concussion management protocol, the Board of Education recognizes that student athletes are STUDENTS first. Current best practice requires that a student be symptom free before starting back to physical activity. If a student is receiving academic or school accommodations of any kind due to the presence of concussion related symptoms, that student cannot be considered symptom free. The Return to Learn (RTL) goal of a full school day with no concussion related accommodations must achieved before Return to Play (RTP) guidelines may commence. 

Reporting

All incidences of concussion or suspected concussion shall be immediately reported bythe coach, advisor or other supervising staff member, in writing, to the District Health Office and Athletic Director within 24 hours. This person shall complete and file a written incident report no later than the following school day.
If a student sustains a concussion at a time other than when in school or engaged in a school sponsored activity, the District expects the parent/guardian to report the condition to the School Nurse and/or the coach so that the District can support the appropriate management of the condition. The Superintendent of Schools shall develop regulations and procedures, in collaboration with the Athletic Director and School Physician, to implement this policy.