Concussions in student athletics
Parents with student athletes should be aware of a state law that helps them, their children and school personnel to recognize, prevent and treat concussions and head injuries.
A concussion is defined as a type of traumatic brain injury, caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that can change the way the 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 a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.
Most people who suffer a concussion do recover quickly. However, in more severe cases, a concussion can be fatal. Unlike a broken bone or a laceration, outward signs of a concussion can’t be seen. By learning to identify the symptoms and danger signs of concussions coaches, teachers and parents can help keep children safe.
The state’s “Concussion Management and Awareness Act,” which went into effect in July 2012, requires:
- The immediate removal from athletic activities, including physical education classes, interscholastic sports and other extracurricular activities, of any student that has or is believed to have sustained a mild traumatic brain injury.
- No students will be allowed to resume athletic activity until they have been symptom-free for 24 hours, and have been evaluated by and received written and signed authorization from a licensed physician. For interscholastic athletics, clearance must come from the school’s medical director.
- Education and training for coaches, teachers and other school personnel on the symptoms and treatment of mild traumatic brain injuries on a biennial basis.
More Information about concussions
- Taconic Hills' Concussion Policy
- Return to Play Worksheet
- CDC Facts About Concussions
- Student Parent Concussion Information Sheet
- Guidelines for Concussion Management
- Summary of Concussion Management and Awareness Act
- NYSPHSAA Safety & Research Webpage