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What is a Concussion?

What is a Concussion?  

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that affects your brain function. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination.

Concussions are usually caused by a blow to the head. Violently shaking the head and upper body also can cause concussions.

Some concussions cause you to lose consciousness, but most do not. It's possible to have a concussion and not realize it

Concussions are particularly common if you play a contact sport, like soccer. Most people usually recover fully after a concussion.




Protocol for Suspected Head Injury

  1. If a head impact or other concerning injury is suspected during any PYSL sanctioned activity remove the player from play immediately and they will NOT return to play.
  2. If an Athletic Trainer (ATC) is available, have the ATC check for signs/symptoms of a concussion. If a trainer is not available, coach should check for sign/symptoms of concussion using the SCAT criteria, CDC Concussion Symptom Checklist, or other concussion checklist. 
  3. Once removed from play, closely monitor the player and, depending on the severity, a player may need immediate medical attention. (Note: Older players suspected of having a concussion who have driven themselves should not drive home.  Help facilitate other arrangements)
  4. Coaches communicate directly with the player’s parents following the PYSL activity either in person or by telephone, and let them know their child is suspected to have suffered a concussion. Direct them to seek medical attention to a local urgent care or medical care facility
  5. If a player was removed from play with concussion symptoms the player will not be permitted to participate in any PYSL sanctioned activity until his or her coach has received a note from a licensed medical professional clearing the player for activity. Once cleared, players should ease back into the training and game schedule.
  6. Parental consent alone is not acceptable for return to play.
  7. Coach consent alone is not acceptable for return to play.

Education
All coaches should take the online training course, provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The link to the online training is the link here. A certificate of completion must be sent to Logan Jones, Director of Programs, as soon as the course is taken. Coaches will also be given information regarding concussions at the biannual coaches meeting before the season starts.

Coaches are also encouraged to talk about concussions with parents at the first practice, so they are aware of the concussion protocol and can acknowledge the signs their soccer player may exhibit if a head injury takes place.

For more information on concussion, click our links below.

CDC Heads Up to Youth Sports Online Training

HEADS UP to Youth Sports: Parents

Concussion Signs and Symptoms Checklist

Concussion Fact Sheet for Parents


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