Retriever Aquatic Club Concussion Information
When in Doubt, Sit Them Out!
1. An athletic coach, or official involved in a youth athletic activity, or health care provider shall remove a person from the youth athletic activity if the coach, official, or health care provider determines that the person exhibits signs, symptoms, or behavior consistent with a concussion or head injury or the coach, official, or health care provider suspects the person has sustained a concussion or head injury.
2. A person who has been removed from a youth athletic activity may not participate in a youth athletic activity until he or she is evaluated by a health care provider and receives a written clearance to participate in the activity from the health care provider.
These are some SIGNS concussions (what others can see in an injured athlete):
Dazed or stunned appearance Change in the level of consciousness or awareness Confused about assignment Forgets plays Unsure of score, game, opponent Clumsy Answers more slowly than usual Shows behavior changes Loss of consciousness Asks repetitive questions or memory concerns.
These are some of the more common SYMPTOMS of concussion (what an injured athlete feels):
Headache Nausea Dizzy or unsteady Sensitive to light or noise Feeling mentally foggy Problems with concentration and memory Confused Slow.
Injured athletes can exhibit many or just a few of the signs and/or symptoms of concussion. However, if a player exhibits any signs or symptoms of concussion, the responsibility is simple: remove them from participation. “When in doubt sit them out.” It is important to notify a parent or guardian when an athlete is thought to have a concussion. Any athlete with a concussion must be seen by an appropriate health care provider before returning to practice (including weight lifting) or competition.
RETURN TO PLAY
Current recommendations are for a stepwise return to play program. In order to resume activity, the athlete must be symptom free and off any pain control or headache medications. The athlete should be carrying a full academic load without any significant accommodations.
Finally, the athlete must have clearance from an appropriate health care provider. The program described below is a guideline for returning concussed athletes when they are symptom free. Athletes with multiple concussions and athletes with prolonged symptoms often require a very different return to activity program and should be managed by a physician that has experience in treating concussion.
The following program allows for one step per 24 hours. The program allows for a gradual increase in heart rate/physical exertion, coordination, and then allows contact. If symptoms return, the athlete should stop activity and notify their healthcare provider before progressing to the next level.
- STEP ONE: About 15 minutes of light exercise: kicking with head out of water, stationary biking, or jogging.
- STEP TWO: More strenuous kicking and introduce face in the water easy swimming in the pool.
- STEP THREE: Begin moderately strenuous sets in the water. May also resume weight lifting/dryland.
- STEP FOUR: Resume full practices.
- STEP FIVE: Full competition clearance.