Concussion & Head Injury Information Page

Dear Parent/Guardian,

 

This information page is provided to assist you and your child in recognizing the signs and symptoms of a concussion.  Every child is different and responds to a brain injury differently, so seek medical attention if you suspect your child has a concussion.  Once a concussion occurs, it is very important that your child return to activities slowly to ensure optimal healing.

 

After reading the information, the acknowledgement form must be signed by a parent/guardian before the student can participate in any physical activity at Oak Hill School, including PE, recess, athletics, Explorations and Under The Oaks.

 

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury and all concussions, as well as other head injuries, are serious.  They are caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, or a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth.  They can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works.  Even though most concussions are mild, all concussions are potentially serious and may result in complications including prolonged brain damage and death if not recognized and managed properly.  In other words, even a “ding” or bump on the head can be serious.  You can’t see a concussion and most concussions occur without loss of consciousness.  Young children and teens are more likely to get a concussion and take longer to recover than adults.  Signs and symptoms may show up right after the injury or can take hours or days to fully appear.  If your child reports any symptoms of concussion, or if you notice the symptoms or signs of concussion yourself, seek medical attention right away.

 

What are the signs and symptoms of concussion?

 

Signs observed by parents, coaches, teachers, teammates and classmates include:

  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Vacant facial expression
  • Confused about assignment
  • Forgets plays or instructions
  • Is unsure of game, score or opponent
  • Balance difficulties, moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Shows mood, behavior or personality changes
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)
  • Can’t recall events before or afterhit or fall

Symptoms reported by student or athlete may include one or more of the following:

  • Headache or “pressure” in the head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Blurred, double or fuzzy vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or drowsy
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Does not “feel right” or is “feeling down”
  • Sad, anxious or irritable (emotional)

 

A student who develop any of the following signs, or if signs and symptoms worsen, should be seen and evaluated immediately at the nearest hospital emergency room:

 

  • Headache that worsens
  • Seizure
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Looks drowsy and/or cannot be awakened
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness or numbing in arms or legs, facial drooping
  • Unable to recognize people and places
  • Unsteady gait
  • Change in pupil size in one eye
  • Significant irritability or combativeness
  • Any loss of consciousness
  • Suspicion of skull fracture:  blood draining from ear or clear fluid from the nose
 
Adapted from the CDC

 

 

 

 

 

What can happen if my child keeps on playing with a concussion or returns too soon?

A student with any signs and/or symptoms of concussion should be removed from physical activity immediately.  Continuing to participate in physical activity with the signs and symptoms of a concussion leaves the young student especially vulnerable to greater injury.  There is an increased risk of significant damage from a concussion before completely recovering from the first one, referred to as second impact syndrome (SIS).  This can lead to prolonged recovery, SIS, or severe brain swelling with devastating consequences.  It is well known that adolescent or teenage athletes will often under report symptoms of injuries; Concussions are no different.  As a result, education of administrators, coaches, teachers, parents and students is the key for student safety.

 

 

If you think your child has suffered a concussion:

Any student who shows the signs, symptoms and behaviors consistent with a concussion during practice, competition, fitness class or other school activities should be immediately removed from that activity and be evaluated by the school nurse or trainer, if available, and if not, by the coach, teacher or other designated person.  No student should return to physical activity on the same day if a concussion is suspected.  No student may return to activity after an apparent head injury or concussion, regardless of how mild it seems or how quickly symptoms clear, without written medical clearance from an appropriate health care provider.  Close observation of the student should continue for several hours.  You should also inform either the school certified athletic trainer or school nurse if you think that your child may have a concussion.  When in doubt, the student sits out!

 

 

Return to Practice and Competition

According to TN Senate Bill 882, if an athlete suffers, or is suspected of having suffered, a concussion or head injury during a competition or practice, the athlete must be immediately removed from the competition or practice and cannot return to play or participate in any supervised team activities involving physical exertion, including games, competitions or practices, until the youth athlete is evaluated by a health care provider and receives written clearance from the appropriate health care provider (Tennessee licensed medical doctor (M.D.), osteopathic physician (D.O.), or clinical neuropsychologist with concussion training) for a full or graduated return to play. The concussion management team (CMT), with specific knowledge of the student’s or youth athlete’s condition, can then manage the student’s or athlete’s graduated return to play based upon the health care provider’s recommendations.  It is our goal to see the student resume routines as soon as it is safe for them to do so.  The CMT shall provide updates to the health care provider on the progress of the student or youth athlete, if requested.

 

For current and up-to-date information and educational resources regarding concussions go to:

http://www.cdc.gov/concussion

 

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Concussion Policy can be found at:

http://www.tssaa.org/concussion.pdf

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