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Concussions - something we ALL need to be aware of!

The NLYAA takes concussions very seriously.  Our football and soccer programs have required coaches to take a concussion course for the past few years, and beginning in 2015, ALL NLYAA sports will require all of their coaches to take a concussion course before starting practice.

We also encourage the parents of any athlete to take this course.

Click HERE to go to the CDC website where the course is accessible, as well as a number of other concussion-related resources.​

In the past 2 years, we have had a football and a soccer player suffer serious concussions that caused them to miss school and require therapy for months.  Please take any head injury seriously. 

Greg Williams, one of our soccer directors would like to share the experience he had with his son:

Aidan was playing goalie in a game on September 14th.  It was the end of the game, and he dove to stop a ball and hit the side of his head on the goal post.  There was only about a minute left in the game and he finished it (we did not know he hit his head on the sidelines).  He came to the sidelines after the game and told us what happened.  Overall, he seemed OK.  We gave him a big drink and 2 motrin.  After about 5-10 minutes, he was completely fine.  We went about the rest of our day as if nothing happened.  It wasn't until just before bed that we knew something was wrong.  He said he was dizzy and didn't feel quite right.  We kept him home from school and took him to our family doctor who ran some basic tests and confirmed that he had a concussion.  We had no idea the recovery time that he was facing...After about a week of him still being dizzy and having no balance, we finally ended up at the Concussion Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital next to the new hockey arena.  The level of care there was phenomenal.  I highly recommend anyone who suspects a concussion to contact them first.  They set Aidan up with both physical and occupational therapy.  He was unable to return to school until after Christmas break (the school district provided homebound instruction, which was wonderful), and wasn't released from therapy and able to return to physical activity until February 5th.  So, a head injury that seemed mild at the time took almost 5 months to recover from
                    

Suspected Concussion Protocol

Suspected Concussion Protocol
All NLYAA Coaches will be required to take the online CDC Concussion course and provide the vice president with a Certificate of Completion.
The following policy and procedure will be used to manage the player with a suspected concussion.
A concussion is a brain injury. Concussions are caused by a bump or blow to the head.
• Concussions are serious
• Concussions can occur without the loss of consciousness
• Concussions can occur in any sport

Recognition and management when they first occur can help prevent further injury or even death

Recognizing a possible concussion
Watch for the following two (2) things among your athletes:
1. A forceful blow to the head or body that results in the rapid movement of the head.
2. Any change in the athlete’s behavior, thinking, physical functioning
(see the signs and symptoms of concussions below).

Symptoms Observed by the Coach or Parent
• Appears dazed or stunned
• Is confused about assignment or position
• Forgets an assignment or instruction
• Is unsure of game score or opponent
• Moved clumsily
• Answers questions slowly
• Losses consciousness (even briefly)
• Shows behavior or personality changes
• Can’t recall events prior to a hit or fall
• Can’t recall events after a hit or fall

Symptoms Reported by Athlete
• Headache
• Nausea or vomiting
• Balance problems or dizziness
• Double or Blurry Vision
• Sensitivity to light
• Sensitivity to noise
• Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy
• Concentration or memory problems
• Confusion
• Does not “feel right”

Protocol
1. Remove the athlete from play. Immediately bring to the attention of the Director/Coordinator or Trainer. Look for signs and symptoms of a concussion if the athlete has experienced a bump or blow to the head, has reported any symptoms documented above or has any change in behavior, thinking or physical functioning. Athletes who are suspected of having a possible concussion must be removed from play. Take possession of the athlete’s helmet and provide it to the parent.
2. Complete the NLYAA Suspected Concussion Report. Complete the report to the best of your ability and give it to the parent(s), guardian or medical professional caring for the athlete.
3. Ensure that the parent(s) or guardian understands that the athlete should be evaluated as soon as possible by an appropriate health care professional. Do not try to judge the severity of the injury yourself.
4. Notify the Director as soon as possible. The Director will track and follow up on every reported concussion.
5. Allow the athlete to return to play ONLY WITH permission from a health care professional with experience in evaluating for concussion. A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the first can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long-term problems. Prevent common long-term problems and the rare second impact syndrome by delaying the athlete’s return to activity until the player receives appropriate medical evaluation and approval for return to play.

*When an athlete has been removed from play because of a suspected concussion, the athlete will NOT be allowed to return to play until they have been evaluated by a health care professional with experience in evaluating for concussion AND a letter or note of clearance to return to play has been delivered to the Director.


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