MD Concussion Protocol
In the unfortunate situation when a student suffers a concussion, we immediately implement our Return to Learn Protocol in the classroom and our Return to Play Protocol if a student is involved in athletics. If a student-athlete has been evaluated by the athletic trainer to have any concussion symptoms during practice or game, the athlete cannot participate anymore that day. At this point a physician’s note is needed to begin the CIF’s Return to Play Protocol stages I-II-D.
Once this note is received by the athletic trainer or the school’s attendant the physician’s note will assist in guiding us in accommodating your student’s needs. The school’s attendant will then inform your student’s teachers and begin to monitor your student’s progress as established by our Return to Learn Protocol. Teachers will work with your student and make accommodations based upon his/her progress.
Important Questions and Answers for Parents
Q. A doctor determines a student did not suffer a concussion. Can a student resume normal physical activity if their own doctor writes they did not have a concussion, even though school personnel witnessed signs of possible concussion after an injury (e.g. appeared dazed or felt nauseated)?
A. NO, students are not allowed to resume normal physical activities even if the student feels fine. No competition until the student athlete completes Stages 1-3 of a gradual introduction to physical activity as outlined on the CIF “Return to Play” form.
Q. When is Day 1 for the “Return to Play” Protocol? Is it the day the student sees their doctor (to get “Return to Play” form signed)? Or is the day that concussion occurred?
A. For those students diagnosed with a concussion by a doctor, ‘Day 1’ is the 2nd ‘symptom free’ day after the concussion occurred (although doctors may delay the start” further, if they specify it on the form).
Q. If symptoms occur during a stage of the “Return to Play,” when does play resume?
A. The student must return to the previously successful (no symptoms) stage before trying the unsuccessful stage again. (e.g. if failed Step 3, then back to Step 2 the next day, and to Step 3 following day) * see CIF Concussion Return to Play Protocol form attached
Q. Progressing on “Return to Play” on weekends. When stages of the “Return to Play” protocol are on weekends (e.g., day 3 and day 4 are Saturday and Sunday), do I resume where I left off (i.e., start day 3 activities on Monday)? Or are weekends valid days of progression (e.g., Monday would be day 5)?
A. If student and parent/guardian verify student’s participation in stepped-up physical activities ( according to specific stage progress) during weekends or school holidays resulted in no symptoms, (must communicate directly to Athletic trainer or school nurse), then accept their report and move forward by two days (i.e., Monday would be day 5). Move forward by only one day on Monday if student’s weekend activity level only progressed one day. If communication is not met by the next stage progression with athlete from weekend activity, no further advancement can be achieved.
Q. Can a student with signs/symptoms of concussion return to school and play in competition, even if he/she has never seen a doctor?
A (1). Yes. But for these students, they will be treated as if they were diagnosed with a concussion by a doctor and the school will follow the district’s “Return to Learn” and “Return to Play” guidelines of being diagnosed with a concussion. If the student comes to school the first day instead of staying home and no parent picks him/her up, encourage rest in the health office rather than class if needed.
A (2) An athlete will not be able to begin the “Return to Play” protocol for 7 days. The student WILL NOT return to competition until there is a doctor’s signature clearing the student for full participation. It is against California state law (AB 2127). Reach your school Athletic Trainer, Athletic Director, or the Nursing Office for guidance if student never sees a doctor for many weeks.
Q. As a parent, if I have any questions on the health or safety of my student athlete, who should I contact at the site with regards to a concussion or any other potential injury?
A. Your students coach, attendant or the school’s athletic trainer should call or send home a concussion packet detailing about a potential injury (concussion) to your child has occurred. There are circumstances when injuries that occur during a practice or game, may become more prolific when your student gets home. Please report any injury to your coach, athletic trainer, school nurse, or athletic director. They will be able to access the situation and take the necessary steps to ensure your student athlete is taken care of and referred to the appropriate person.