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Purpose

Utah House Bill 204-enacts the “Protection of Athletes with Head Injuries Act”within the Utah Health Code. In accordance with this bill, Clinton City has adopted a concussion and head injury policy that meets all of the requirements outlined in HB 204. The intent of this policy is to provide a safe environment for youth under the age of 18 while participating in recreational sporting events.

General Concussion Description, nature and risk

A concussion is a brain injury, and all brain injuries are serious. They are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a blow to another part of the body with the force transmitted to the head. They can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works. Even though most concussions are mild, all concussions are potentially serious and may result in complications, including prolonged brain damage and even death if not recognized and managed properly. In other words, even a “ding” or a bump on the head can be serious.

Symptoms and signs of concussions (see traumatic head injury below) may show up right after the injury or can take hours or days to fully appear. If your athlete reports any symptoms of concussion, or if you notice the symptoms or signs of concussion yourself, seek medical attention right away. You cannot see a concussion and most sports concussions occur without loss of consciousness.

Having one is bad, but having successive is worse

Receiving a concussion or a traumatic head injury and continuing to participate in a sporting event can leave the athlete vulnerable to greater injury or death. There is an increased risk of significant damage from a concussion for a period of time after that concussion occurs, particularly if the athlete suffers another concussion before completely recovering from the first. This can lead to prolonged recovery, or even severe brain swelling with devastating and even fatal consequences.

Policy Requirements

Educational information as well as a copy of the Clinton City Concussion and Head Injury Policy will be distributed to all coaches, referees, supervisors, parents, athletes, representatives, volunteers and others who may be involved with youth sports and sport related activities and events. A parent or legal guardian is required to sign the Concussion and Head Injury Release Form prior to their child’s participation. If Clinton City, its agents, coaches, volunteers, parents or legal guardians suspects an athlete (a child who is under the age of 18) of sustaining a concussion or traumatic head injury while participating in a sporting event, the athlete shall be removed immediately. Upon removal of athlete suspected of sustaining concussion or a traumatic head injury, a written medical clearance from a qualified health care provider is required before the athlete can return to participate in any sporting event.
  1. "Qualified Health Care Provider" means a health care provider who: (a) is licensed under title 58, Occupation and Professions; (b) may evaluate and manage a concussion within the health care provider’s scope of practice; and (c) within three years before the day on which the written statement is made, have successfully completed a continuing education course in the evaluation and management of a concussion. (as per HB 204 verbage).
  2. "Sporting Event" Means any of the following athletic activities that are organized, operated, managed, or sponsored by Clinton City, such as : a game, a practice, a clinic, a sports camp, an educational class, a competition, or a tryout.
  3. "Traumatic head injury" Means an injury to the head arising from blunt trauma, an acceleration force, or a deceleration force, with one of the following observed or self-reported conditions attributable to the injury: (a) transient confusion, disorientation, or impaired consciousness, (b) dysfunction of memory, (c) loss of consciousness, or (d) signs of other neurological or neuropsychological dysfunction, including: (i) seizures, (ii) irritability, (iii) lethargy, (iv) vomiting, (v) headache, (vi) dizziness, or (vii) fatigue.

Concussion Action Plan

What should a parent and/or legal guardian do when a concussion is suspected?
  1. Report the suspicion to the coach:
    1. Look for the symptoms and signs of a concussion (see traumatic head injury above)
    2. When in doubt, remove the athlete from play
  2. Ensure that the athlete is evaluated right away:
    1. Do not try to judge the severity yourself, get assistance from a qualified Health Care Professional as soon as possible
  3. Allow athlete to return to play only with permission from a qualified Health Care Provider:
    1. Repeated concussion prior to recovery can increase the likelihood of further problems
  4. Both Coach and parent should record the following:
    1. The cause of the head injury and with what force (Best description and information from witnesses).
    2. Any loss of consciousness and for how long
    3. Any memory loss immediately after the injury
    4. Any seizures immediately after the injury
    5. Any other pertinent information you may think will help the Health Care Provider

Acknowledgement

I hereby recognize and acknowledge that I will assume full responsibility for reading, understating and adhering to all rules, regulations policies and procedures which will include this concussion policy. If my athlete is suspected of having a concussion, he/she will be removed from the sporting event and will not be permitted to continue participating in any upcoming sporting events until a qualified Health Care Professional has determined it to be safe. I will provide Clinton City with a written statement by a qualified Health Care Professional acknowledging the athlete is cleared to resume participation. Within this statement the provider must acknowledge he/she has successfully completed a continuing education course in the evaluation and management of a concussion within three years before the day on which the written statement was made.
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