The topic of concussions has been hot and heavy the past couple of years, from the professional level all the way down to the high school age group. Research has shown concussions can cause lifetime effects if not treated properly. The biggest hurdle, however, is recognizing when someone has, in fact, sustained one and then taking the necessary precautions in dealing with the injury. (Yes, concussions are a brain injury!)
Our local high schools are fortunate to have New Ulm Medical Center (Allina) trainers attending many of the games and practices. They are experts at assessing this type of injury, an injury that is not always obvious. Problem is, they can’t be everywhere at all times.
This year the Minnesota State High School League is stepping up requirements in hopes of helping those involved with youth sports better recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion. The Minnesota Legislature passed, and the Governor signed legislation that requires each coach and official (licensed, registered, or volunteer) working at the MSHSL varsity, junior varsity or b-squad/sophomore level to receive initial online training and online training at least once every three calendar years thereafter. READ FULL REQUIREMENT>>>
The course is actually available for anyone to take (click on icon at top of page or go to http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/headsup/online_training.html) I went through it myself and and even as someone who has had training on the subject, found it enlightening. It’s nice to know the emphasis is now sitting the athlete if there is any doubt.
I recommend every parent spend about 1/2 hour of their time viewing the information and learning what to expect should a head injury occur during competition or a practice.
Another standard that will be followed during high school games and practices includes: “Any athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion (such as loss of consciousness) headache, dizziness, confusion, or balance problems) shall be immediately removed from the contest and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health care professional.” READ COMPLETE RETURN TO PLAY PROTOCOL>>>
As the campaign says, be “Heads Up” about concussions.