Parent & Player Concussion Information Sheet
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The CDC has issued a warning and process regarding concussion in youth sports, regardless of the sport. California now requires notification and review of concussion detection and follow-up, for parents and players involved in youth sports. Additionally, coaches and referees must take the online concussion course, the AYSO CDC Concussion Awareness training.
In recognition of the serious long-term potential for harm caused by concussion, and the heightened susceptibility to concussion by younger players, Palo Alto AYSO policy ban's heading of the ball at U10 and under for instructional players. This policy continues. Referees are asked to treat an act of heading the ball by Instructional U8 and U10 players as a foul, "dangerous play".
This policy does not apply to Palo Alto Elite or Spring Select, but coaches are encouraged not to train heading excessively, and to be extra cautious about encouraging a player to head the ball if they are not prepared to execute it well. There are procedures to teach heading the ball using foam rubber balls that do not present a concussion risk.
BE AWARE that recent evidence shows concussion-like brain lesions in children repeatedly practicing heading, even when no concussion is evident. The harmful effects may be long term, barely noticed, but harmful.
All Palo Alto AYSO Coaches and Referees are required to get the Concussion Awareness certification, and all other volunteers are strongly encouraged to be certified.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that changes the way the brain works. A concussion is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. Even a "ding", "getting your bell rung", or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Concussion?Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after the injury or may not appear or be noticed until days or weeks after the injury.
If an athlete reports one or more symptoms of concussion listed below after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body, the player should be kept out of play or practice the day of the injury and until a health care professional, experience in evaluating for concussion, says the athlete is symptom-free and it's OK to return to play.
SIGNS OBSERVED BY COACHING STAFF
CONCUSSION DANGER SIGNSIn rare cases, a dangerous blood clot may form on the brain in a person with a concussion and crowd the brain against the skull. An athlete should receive immediate medical attention if after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body the athlete exhibits any of the following danger signs:
Did You Know?
RememberConcussions affect people differently. While most athletes with a concussion recover quickly and fully, some will have symptoms that last for days, or even weeks. A more serious concussion can last for months.
SYMPTOMS REPORTED BY ATHLETES
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU THINKIf you suspect that an athlete has a concussion, remove the athlete from play and seek medical attention. Do not try to judge the severity of the injury yourself. Keep the athlete out of play the day of the injury and until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for concussion, says the athlete is symptom-free and it's OK to return to play.
YOUR ATHLETE HAS A CONCUSSION?
Rest is key to helping an athlete recover from a concussion. Exercising or activities that involve a lot of concentration, such as studying, working on the computer, or playing video games, may cause concussion symptoms to reappear or get worse. After a concussion, returning to sports and school is a gradual process that should be carefully managed and monitored by a health care professional.