Coaches Need a Concussion Plan

Every school district and private youth sports organization should have a sideline protocol for dealing with head injuries, and all sideline personnel should practice the procedure.

What to do if an athlete is hurt:

1. Remove the athlete from play immediately and keep them from returning to play if any concussion symptoms are present or it is suspected the athlete has sustained a concussion.

2. Perform a sideline evaluation. If access to an athletic trainer or other medical professional is unavailable, assess the athlete using the SAC and BESS to determine if emergency medical assistance is required.

3. Monitor and re-assess. Consider assigning a staff member to the athlete to look for signs of deterioration.

4. Notify the athletes parents. Make sure they understand the signs and symptoms of a concussion and the timeframe for onset and recovery. Stress the mandatory requirement from medical evaluation

5. Only allow the athlete to return to play if they have written medical authorization.

6.Verify the athlete is 100% symptom free before allowing them to participate in any activity

7. Institute a gradual return to play procedure after the athlete is medically cleared. Assess the athlete for return of symptoms.

National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have teamed up to provide information and resources to help educate coaches, officials, parents and students on the importance of proper concussion recognition and management in high school sports. In this course you will understand the impact sports-related concussion can have on your players, how to recognize a suspected concussion, the proper protocols to manage a suspected concussion, and steps to help your player return to play safely after experiencing a concussion.