Concussion Prevention

A concussion defined by the Mayo Clinc is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. Effects are usually temporary, but can include problems with headache, concentration, memory, judgment, balance and coordination.

The signs and symptoms of a concussion can be subtle and may not be immediately apparent. Symptoms can last for days, weeks or even longer.

The most common symptoms after a concussive traumatic brain injury are headache, amnesia and confusion. The amnesia, which may or may not be preceded by a loss of consciousness, almost always involves the loss of memory of the impact that caused the concussion. Temporary loss of consciousness.

Confusion or feeling as if in a fog.

Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event.

Dizziness or "seeing stars".

According to the CDC there are ways to prevent concussions and TBIs.

Monitor the health of your athletes.
Create a concussion action plan.

Check with your league, school, or district about concussion policies.

If you or an athlete has symptoms of a concussion seek medical attention from a licensed medical professional.

Recognize and React

Any athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion (such as loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion, or balance problems) must be immediately removed from the contest and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health-care professional.

Licensed Medical Professional Evaluation

Once the athlete is removed from play an evaluation must take place by a licensed medical professional. An appropriate health-care professional (AHCP) is defined as a licensed physician, a licensed osteopathic physician, or a licensed physicians assistant under the direct supervision of a MD. A certified athletic trainer (ATC) under the direct supervision of a MD/DO can assist with the sideline evaluation of a student-athlete when a student-athlete is sent out of a competition or practice, but cannot provide written clearance to return to play.

Return to play protocol

No athlete should return to play (RTP) or practice on the same day of a concussion. “When in doubt, sit them out!”

Fundamentals are the foundation for safety in football. An athlete should learn and develop the proper fundamentals of there position and learn proper heads up tackling. Fundamental tackling is a technique to tackle an opponent without using the helmet to make initial contact when tackling. Ask your coach to teach you proper fundamentals of tackling.

Make sure your league or organization is focused on fundamentals and teaches proper tackling techniques and has quality equipment that fits well.

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