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Concussion and Head Injury Protocol


Hampden Recreation Department
Concussion and Head Injury Protocol
 
Purpose:
The Hampden Recreation Department recognizes that concussions and head injuries can result from contact in sports and have serious consequences if not properly evaluated and treated. This following policy has been put in place to help educate and establish a plan of action for coaches, volunteers, staff (referred to as Agents of Hampden Recreation Department herein) and parents/guardians for any participant that suffers or suspected of suffering a concussion during a sporting event.
 
Policy:
It shall be the policy of Hampden Recreation Department that all Agents as well as parents/guardians of players will be familiar with the symptoms and signs of concussion and be prepared to take appropriate action as outlined below in responding to such incidents.
 
“When in doubt, sit them out!” Youth players are particularly vulnerable to the effects of concussions. Once considered little more than a minor “ding” on the head, it is not understood that a concussion has the potential result in death, or short- and long-term changes in brain function.  A concussion occurs when the brain is violently rocked back and forth or twisted inside the skull as a result of a blow to the head or body. Symptoms include (but are not limited to) transient confusion, disorientation, impaired consciousness, dysfunction of memory, loss of consciousness, seizures, irritability, lethargy, vomiting, headache, dizziness, or fatigue. Continued participation in any sporting event following a concussion can lead to worsening concussion symptoms, as well as increased risk for further injury to the brain and even death.
 
The well-being of the players is of paramount concern during a sporting event. Agents and parents/guardians are being asked to make all efforts to ensure that concussed players do not continue to participate. Thus, Agents and parents/guardians should all be looking for signs of concussions in all players and suspected concussed player should be immediately removed from play.
 
All Agents will be familiar with and will receive a copy of this Policy. Parents/guardians will be provided a copy of this Policy as well as the Information Sheet. These documents should be reviewed by parent/guardian before the player will be allowed to participate in a sporting event.
 
Role of coaches, volunteers and staff: (Agents)
Coaches, volunteers and staff will NOT be expected, nor will they be trained to “diagnose” a concussion. Diagnosis is the job of a qualified health care provider. Agents are being asked to use their best judgement in observing the signs, symptoms, and behaviors associated with concussions. If an Agent observes questionable signs, symptoms, or behavior, he/she must remove the player from the sporting event for further evaluation and notify the player’s parent/guardian and fill out the appropriate accident form. Agents are not permitted to allow a player to resume activity until the Hampden Recreation Department receives a written statement from a qualified health care provider indicating that the player is cleared to resume participation in the sporting event.
 
Role of Officials:
Officials will NOT be expected to “diagnose” a concussion. Officials are being asked to use their best judgement in observing the signs, symptoms and behaviors associated with concussions. Officials will not be asked to give what could be perceived as a medical opinion. If an official observes questionable signs, symptoms, or behavior, the official should notify the Agent, and the player should be removed from the sporting event. Officials are not responsible for the sideline evaluation or management of the player after he/she is removed from play.
 
Role of Parents/Guardians:
Like Agents, parents/guardians will NOT be expected to “diagnose” a concussion. However, parents/guardians are being asked to become familiar with the signs, symptoms and behaviors associated with concussions. Parents/guardians will be asked to review the Information Sheet. Parents/guardians will be expected to comply with this Policy and support the determination made by the Agents to remove a player from a sporting event.
 
It is the parent/guardian’s obligation to have the player evaluated by a qualified health care provider and to obtain from that provider a written statement that clears the player to resume participation in the sporting event.
 
NOTE: Qualified health care providers should be one of the following; physician, physician’s assistant, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, physical therapist, or athletic trainer.
 
Mandated Course of Action
  1. Remove player from the sporting event.
  2. Notify Parent/Guardian.
  3. Any player suspected of having a concussion should be evaluated by a qualified health care provider as soon as practicable.
  4. Before a player will be allowed to resume participation in a sporting event, the parent/guardian of the player must obtain a written statement from a qualified health provider and return to the Hampden Recreation Department indicating that the player is cleared to resume participation in the sporting event.
 
NOTE: This policy is applicable only to the Hampden Recreation Department teams, leagues, and sporting events. The Hampden Recreation Department is not responsible for implementing any concussion or head injury policy for independent teams, leagues, organizations, or associations that utilize Hampden Recreation Department fields or facilities.