SEAFORD PUBLIC SCHOOLS
In the Seaford School District, students participate in interscholastic sports, intramural sports, physical education classes, and extracurricular and/or school-sponsored activities. Although the Board of Education of the Seaford School District takes reasonable care to prevent student injuries, it recognizes that concussions and head injuries are the most commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in interscholastic athletics, intramural sports, physical education classes, and extracurricular and/or school-sponsored activities. Therefore, the District adopts the following policy and guidelines to assist in the proper evaluation and management of head injuries.
A concussion is a brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body. This can be caused by contact with another player, hitting a hard surface such as the ground, ice or floor, or being hit by a piece of equipment such as a bat, lacrosse stick, or field hockey ball. A concussion can change the way a brain normally works and can range from mild to severe. A concussion can present itself differently in each injured student. A concussion can occur during practice or competition in any sport, or other school activities. A concussion can happen even when a student does not lose consciousness. Recovery from a concussion will vary. Avoiding re-injury and over-exertion until fully recovered are the cornerstones of proper concussion management.
The Seaford School District establishes a process for the management of concussions suffered by students in the district that deals with the immediate physical and educational needs of the student. The district will require mandatory biennial training related to concussions for the athletic director, school nurses, coaches, physical education teachers, athletic trainers, and any other staff member who will deal with or provide instruction to a student for a school-wide athletic activity. The training will include, but not be limited t the definition of a concussion; signs and symptoms of concussions and how they may occur; post-concussion and second impact syndromes; practices regarding prevention; guidelines for return to activity; school protocols; and available area resources for concussion management and treatment. Parents will be provided with concussion awareness resources on the district website as well as with athletic permission information that is distributed prior to each season.
The following district protocols will be followed:
Concussion Suffered in a School Athletic Competition
Most commonly, concussions are suffered by student athletes during athletic competition. If a Seaford middle or high school student athlete suffers a concussion during a practice or game the athlete will be immediately removed from play and evaluated as soon as possible by an appropriate health care professional. If no athletic trainer is available to make an assessment at the time of the injury, the coach must follow the direction, “If there is doubt, keep them out,” of any continued competition in a practice or game until it is clearly established that no concussion exists. In the event concussion symptoms exist, the coach will notify the athletic director and athletic trainer of the concussion as soon as possible. The athletic director will ensure that they or the athletic trainer forwards the accident report from the coach to the nurse in the appropriate building by the next school day. The parents of the student will be called by the nurse and given the specific direction to seek medical attention for their child. The child will not return to any athletic competition until they are symptom free for at least 24 hours and cleared in writing to return to athletic competition by a physician. This clearance may require a second visit to the doctor to ensure the student is asymptomatic, rather than a physician’s note that may suggest, “Allow the student to resume athletic competition in one week.” There should never be a rushed or truncated recovery process to return a child to any athletic competition before they have fully recovered from the initial head injury. A student, his or her parent or team coach should not seek to rush the necessary process. The injured student athlete may require additional academic attention or support outlined in greater detail later in this policy
Concussions Suffered in Other School Settings
An elementary, middle or high school child may sustain a head injury separate and apart from athletic competition. If a child suffers a concussion during the course of a school day (classroom, recess, playground, physical education class, etc.), the student will immediately be evaluated by the school nurse who will make contact with the student’s parent and give an appropriate recommendation to the parent and school administration about medical intervention. The student will be kept out of school and/or physical education classes and physical activities as appropriate until cleared in writing by a physician. The student may require additional academic attention or support outlined in greater detail later in this policy.
Concussions Suffered Outside of School
Parents are expected to communicate the details of any concussion suffered by their child outside of the school setting to the nurse of the child’s school so that appropriate academic accommodations can be made and appropriate activity restrictions can be put in place. Parents will be encouraged to access the information about concussion signs, symptoms and management that will be posted on the district website, and will be required to give permission for the participation of their child prior to the child’s participation in interscholastic or intramural activities. This policy will be included as part of the paperwork for that permission.Academic InterventionAs part of the concussion management plan for the injured student, depending on the severity of the injury and its effect on the student’s ability to learn, the student may require a Section 504 plan to temporarily modify the structure of the school day and/or assignments until such time that the student is able to return to normal functioning. If a student is experiencing a concussion with sustained symptoms, the school nurse should inform the school Instructional Support Team (IST). The Instructional Support Team (IST) in each school building will make a recommendation for any academic accommodation that may be necessary for a student recovering from a concussion that was suffered in or out of school, including a possible recommendation to the 504 committee in that school.
Monitoring Upon ReturnAdoption Date: 5/3/12Reference: NY Education Law 305
Cross Ref: 5280, Interscholastic Athletics