A concussion is a brain injury and all brain injuries are serious. They are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or by a blow to another part of the body with the force transmitted to the head. They can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works. Even though most concussions are mild, all concussions are potentially serious and may result in complications including prolonged brain damage and death if not recognized and managed properly. In other words, even a “ding” or a bump on the head can be serious. You can’t see a concussion and most sports concussions occur without loss of consciousness. Signs and symptoms of concussion may show up right after the injury or can take hours or days to fully appear. If your child reports any symptoms of concussion, or if you notice the symptoms or signs of concussion yourself, seek medical attention right away.
Symptoms may include one or more of the following:
Headaches · “Pressure in head” · Nausea or vomiting
Neck pain · Balance problems or dizziness · Blurred, double, or fuzzy vision
Sensitivity to light or noise · Feeling sluggish or slowed down · Feeling foggy or groggy
Drowsiness · Change in sleep patterns · Amnesia
“Don’t feel right” · Fatigue or low energy · Sadness
Nervousness or anxiety · Irritability · More emotional
Confusion · Concentration or memory problems (forgetting game plays)
Repeating the same question/comment
Signs observed by teammates, parents and coaches include:
Appears dazed · Vacant facial expression
Confused about assignment · Moves clumsily or displays incoordination
Forgets plays · Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
Answers questions slowly · Slurred speech
Shows behavior or personality changes · Can’t recall events prior to hit
Can’t recall events after hit · Seizures or convulsions
Any change in typical behavior or personality · Loses consciousness
What can happen if my child keeps on playing with a concussion or returns too soon?
Athletes with the signs and symptoms of concussion should be removed from play immediately. Continuing to play with the signs and symptoms of a concussion leaves the young athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury. There is an increased risk of significant damage from a concussion for a period of time after that concussion occurs, particularly if the athlete suffers another concussion before completely recovering from the first one. This can lead to prolonged recovery, or even to severe brain swelling (second impact syndrome) with devastating and even fatal consequences. It is well known that adolescent or teenage athletes will often fail to report symptoms of injuries. Concussions are no different. As a result, education of administrators, coaches, parents and students is the key to student-athlete’s safety.
If you think your child has suffered a concussion
Any athlete even suspected of suffering a concussion should be removed from the game or practice immediately. No athlete may return to activity after an apparent head injury or concussion, regardless of how mild it seems or how quickly symptoms clear, without medical clearance. Close observation of the athlete should continue for several hours. IHSA Policy requires athletes to provide their school with written clearance from either a physician licensed to practice medicine in all its branches or a certified athletic trainer working in conjunction with a physician licensed to practice medicine in all its branches prior to returning to play or practice following a concussion or after being removed from an interscholastic contest due to a possible head injury or concussion and not cleared to return to that same contest. In accordance with state law, all IHSA member schools are required to follow this policy.
You should also inform your child’s coach if you think that your child may have a concussion. Remember it’s better to miss one game than miss the whole season. And when in doubt, the athlete sits out.
For current and up-to-date information on concussions you can go to: http://www.cdc.gov/ConcussionInYouthSports/
Adapted from the CDC and the 3rd International Conference on Concussion in Sport
Document created 7/1/2011 Reviewed 4/24/2013, Reviewed 7/16/2015
IHSA Performance-Enhancing Substance Testing Policy
In 2008, the IHSA Board of Directors established the association’s Performance-Enhancing Substance (PES) Testing Program. Any student who participates in an IHSA-approved or sanctioned athletic event is subject to PES testing. A full copy of the testing program and other related resources can be accessed on the IHSA Sports Medicine website. Additionally, links to the PES Policy and the association’s Banned Drug classes are listed below. School administrators are able to access the necessary resources used for program implementation in the IHSA Schools Center.
IHSA PES Testing Program
IHSA Banned Drug Classes
IHSA Steroid Testing Policy Consent to Random Testing
As a prerequisite to participation in IHSA athletic activities, we agree that I/our student will not use performance-enhancing substances as defined in the IHSA Performance-Enhancing Substance Testing Program Protocol. We have reviewed the policy and understand that I/our student may be asked to submit to testing for the presence of performance-enhancing substances in my/our student’s body either during IHSA state series events or during the school day, and I/our student do/does hereby agree to submit to such testing and analysis by a certified laboratory. We further understand and agree that the results of the performance-enhancing substance testing may be provided to certain individuals in my/our student’s high school as specified in the IHSA Performance-Enhancing Substance Testing Program Protocol which is available on the IHSA website at www.IHSA.org. We understand and agree that the results of the performance-enhancing substance testing will be held confidential to the extent required by law. We understand that failure to provide accurate and truthful information could subject me/our student to penalties as determined by IHSA.
A complete list of the current IHSA Banned Substance Classes can be accessed at http://www.ihsa.org/documents/sportsMedicine/2015-16/2015-16%20IHSA%20Banned%20Drugs.pdf