All Milltown coaches are required to complete a concussion awareness course annually. Coaches will not be allowed to schedule a practice field until they fulfill this requirement. The reason is simple: recognizing the signs of concussion and knowing how to respond are essential to providing a safe playing environment for our players.
Fortunately, the process is pretty painless. Just follow the steps listed below to complete the NFHS Concussion in Sports course. (If you have completed this or a similar course in the past year, you do not need to repeat it; see Note below).
- Access the NFHS Concussion in Sports course.
- Login (register first if needed), then purchase and complete the course (cost is $0).
- Attach a copy of your completion certificate to an email and send to:firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your completion code, name, and team (ex.: BU13 Reese) in the body of the email.
- Give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy the sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing you have done something that will make the world of youth sports a safer place. Well done, Coach.
Note: Coaches can meet this requirement by providing evidence of successful completion of a concussion awareness course in the past year. This may include the NFHS course, the CDC Heads Up course, or a similar course. Just email a .pdf of your certificate of completion as outlined in Step 3 above. Certificates for NFHS courses can be retrieved by logging on, choosing “my homepage/courses” then “my completed courses”.
Managing concussions: RECOGNIZE, REMOVE, REFER
Effective concussion management is a three step process:
RECOGNIZE. Recognition of the signs and symptoms of concussion is the first step in appropriate management. Every coach and team manager should have with them at practices and games a copy of the Concussion Checklist Quick Reference, or a similar list of signs and symptoms of concussion. Coaches should watch for SIGNS that a player may have sustained a concussion, and should be aware of SYMPTOMS that may be reported by the athlete.
REMOVE. Any player showing signs or reporting symptoms of a concussion must immediately be removed from activity, and may not return to play until subsequent steps in the protocol are completed (in no case may a player return to play prior to the day following the suspected concussion).
REFER. If a player suffers a suspected concussion at a game or practice, the coach or other team official should immediately:
- Complete page one (has the OYSA logo) of the Sideline Concussion Documentation
- Notify a parent or guardian of the injury.
- Give both pages of the concussion documentation form to the parent or guardian along with the Graded Return to Participation Documentation and Concussion Care Instructions.
- Inform the parent or guardian that the player cannot return to practice or games until a health care professional has released the player for participation.
See Managing Sports-Related Concussions for additional details.
Returning to Play After a Concussion
When a player has been removed from practice or a game because of a suspected concussion, a coach is not permitted to allow the player to return to participation until these conditions are met:
- One day has passed
- The coach has received a medical release form signed by a medical professional. Both the Sideline Concussion Documentation and the Graded Return to Participation Documentation have a form of medical release on page two.
- The player no longer exhibits signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion.
Coaches should keep a copy of the release, and provide a copy to the club registrar for the club’s records.
Coaches should be sure to follow any restrictions that a player’s doctor has placed on practice activities and game participation.
Return to Play Guidelines
Players suspected of sustaining a concussion, or showing signs or symptoms of a concussion, must be removed from play immediately and maynot return to play before:
- the day after the suspected concussion occurred
- the player is no longer showing any signs or symptoms of a concussion
- and, the player has been cleared to return to play by a health care professional