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Head Injury and Concussion Management

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) which alters the functioning of the brain.  A concussion can occur with any bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that causes the brain to quickly move back and forth. Concussions can occur as a result of a fall, motor vehicle accident, accident on the playground, during athletic participation, or during many other activities.   All concussions are serious and need to be evaluated by a health care professional.     

Signs and Symptoms

Concussions affect each person differently.  Symptoms usually show up immediately following an injury, but sometimes it may take hours or days to notice that something isn’t quite right.  Look for the following signs and symptoms of concussion for any student who suffered a bump, blow, or jolt to their head or body:

  • Headache or head “pressure”                                 
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Dizzy and/or problems with balance
  • Blurry vision or double vision
  • Light and/or noise sensitivity
  • Feels “foggy”
  • Hard time concentrating
  • Hard time remembering
  • Confused
  • Just “doesn’t feel right”
  • Unable to remember events before or after the injury
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Appears dazed or out of it


Below are ways to help reduce the risk of sustaining a concussion:

  • Wear a seat belt every time you are driving or riding in a motor vehicle.
  • Never drive or ride in a vehicle with someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Wear appropriate safety equipment, including properly fitted helmets, such as, but not limited to, when:
    • Riding a bike, motorcycle, snow mobile, or ATV;
    • Playing contact sports (examples include football, soccer, hockey, and lacrosse);
    • Skiing, snowboarding, and sledding;
    • Horseback riding; or
    • Batting during baseball or softball
  • During any athletic participation including practices and games:
    • Always use the recommended protective equipment for that sport (all equipment should be fitted appropriately and maintained according to manufacturer’s recommendations). Wearing a helmet is a must to help reduce the risk of a serious brain injury or skull fracture. However, helmets are not designed to prevent concussions. There is no "concussion-proof" helmet;
    • Safety rules need to be followed by all participants as well as proper techniques for safe playing;
    • Learn and follow the rules of the sport being played and promptly and honestly report injuries to an adult; and
    • Any student with a head injury must be removed from participation, will be referred to their healthcare provider for follow-up, and will remain out of play until proper medical documentation is submitted.


Rest is very important following a concussion because it helps the brain heal. Participating in sports or other high-risk activities during the healing process is dangerous and places the student at risk for a more serious brain injury. Most students will recover from their concussion within a couple of weeks.  When a student is no longer experiencing symptoms and medical clearance is secured, the student may gradually return to their sport.   

Returning to Sports/Athletics

The District follows the International Consensus Conference Guidelines for Return to Play (RTP) to team sports in a monitored and graduated progression of activity over six phases once the athlete is symptom free for at least 24 hours and medically cleared by their physician*. The process is detailed below.

Student Care Plan

International Consensus Conference Guidelines for Return to Play Following Head Injury/Concussion