What Is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.
For more information:
I have a concussion and want to play? When can I get back?
Return to Play Protocol
Return to Play Protocol and Clearance
Student-athletes who sustain, or are suspected to have sustained, a concussion during athletic activities will be immediately removed from such activities. No student-athlete should return to full athletics before going through a return-to-play protocol including a post-injury neurocognitive (ImPACT) test. The return-to-play protocol is usually a3-6 day supervised program. Return to play following a concussion involves a stepwise progression once the student-athlete is symptom free. No student should return to play while symptomatic. Student-athletes are prohibited from returning to play the day the concussion is suspected. If there is any doubt as to whether a student-athlete has sustained a concussion during activity, it should be treated as a concussion.
Evaluation by a licensed New York State physician, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant or a Credentialed ImPACT Consultant(CIC). Student-athletes must provide the Health Office with written authorization allowing the resumption of full physical activity by a licensed New York State physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant and:
- the student-athlete shall undergo post-injury neurocognitive (ImPACT) testing.
Initiate Return to Play Protocol administered by the Certified Athletic Trainer.
Day 1: Low impact, non-strenuous, light aerobic activity.
Day 2: Higher impact, higher exertion, moderate aerobic activity. No resistance training.
Day 3: Sport specific non-contact activity. Initiate low resistance weight training with a spotter.
Day 4: Sport specific activity, non-contact drills. Higher resistance weight training with a spotter.
Day 5: Full contact training drills and intense aerobic activity.
Day 6: Return to full activities with clearance by the Certified Athletic Trainer.
Each step should take 24 hours so that an athlete would take approximately one week to proceed through the full rehabilitation protocol once they are asymptomatic at rest and with provocative exercise. If any post-concussion symptoms occur while in the stepwise program, then the student should drop back to the previous asymptomatic level and try to progress again after a further 24-hour period of rest has passed. If a student -athlete is not progressing, or there is an indication of a more serious head injury, the Certified Athletic Trainer will notify the school nurse. The school nurse will consult with the school physician and the student-athlete may be required to see a neurologist prior to continuing the Return to Play Protocol.
Any return of symptoms during the return to play protocol, the student-athlete will return to the previous day’s activities until symptom free. The Certified Athletic Trainer and school nurse will oversee the return to play protocol with the school physician. Final return to play decisions will be made by the School District’s Chief Medical Officer/Physician by providing written authorization allowing the resumption of all activities.