Crescenta Valley Soccer Club Implements First Baseline Concussion Testing Program for Club Soccer Players in the Region
The issue of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is the focus of significant national attention. We wanted you to know that the Crescenta Valley Soccer Club believes player safety is paramount. That is why we will be the first youth soccer organization in our region to implement a mandatory baseline concussion testing program for all of our athletes. We have contracted with ImPACT, the industry leader in baseline concussion testing and will begin testing players on Monday, September 15. Please contact your coach or team administrator for more details on scheduling.
We think it’s important for you to recognize the symptoms of a concussion and understand the risks. Here is some background information on traumatic brain injury prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and ImPACT Applications, Inc.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.
You can’t see a concussion and most sports concussions occur without loss of consciousness. Signs and symptoms of concussion may show up right after the injury or can take hours or days to fully appear. If your child reports any symptoms of concussion, or if you notice the symptoms or signs of concussion yourself, seek medical attention right away.
Symptoms may include one or more of the following:
- “Pressure in head”
- Nausea or vomiting
- Neck pain
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Blurred, double, or fuzzy vision
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Feeling sluggish or slowed down
- Feeling foggy or groggy
- Change in sleep patterns
- “Don’t feel right”
- Fatigue or low energy
- Nervousness or anxiety
- More emotional
- Concentration or memory problems (forgetting game plays)
- Repeating the same question/comment
Signs observed by teammates, parents and coaches may include:
- Appears dazed
- Vacant facial expression
- Confused about assignment
- Forgets plays
- Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
- Moves clumsily or displays incoordination
- Answers questions slowly
- Slurred speech
- Shows behavior or personality changes
- Can’t recall events prior to hit
- Can’t recall events after hit
- Seizures or convulsions
- Any change in typical behavior or personality
- Loses consciousness
What can happen if my child keeps on playing with a concussion or returns to soon?
Athletes with the signs and symptoms of concussion should be removed from play immediately. Continuing to play with the signs and symptoms of a concussion leaves the young athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury. 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 one. This can lead to prolonged recovery, or even to severe brain swelling (second impact syndrome) with devastating and even fatal consequences. It is well known that adolescent or teenage athlete will often under report symptoms of injuries. And concussions are no different. As a result, education of administrators, coaches, parents and students is the key for student-athlete’s safety.
What should you do if you think your child has suffered a concussion?
Any athlete even suspected of suffering a concussion should be removed from the game or practice immediately. No athlete may return to activity after an apparent head injury or concussion, regardless of how mild it seems or how quickly symptoms clear, without medical clearance. Close observation of the athlete should continue for several hours. You should also inform your child’s coach if you think that your child may have a concussion. Remember it’s better to miss one game than miss the whole season. And when in doubt, the athlete sits out.
What is baseline concussion testing?
Baseline concussion testing is a pre-season exam conducted by a trained health care professional. Baseline tests are used to assess an athlete’s balance and brain function (including learning and memory skills, ability to pay attention or concentrate, and how quickly he or she thinks and solve problems), as well as for the presence of any concussion symptoms. Results from baseline tests (or pre-injury tests) can be used and compared to a similar exam conducted by a health care professional during the season if an athlete has a suspected concussion.
How is baseline testing information used if an athlete has a suspected concussion?
Results from baseline testing can be used if an athlete has a suspected concussion. Comparing post-injury test results to baseline test results can assist health care professionals in identifying the effects of the injury and making more informed return to school and play decisions.
Baseline testing provides an important opportunity to educate athletes and others about concussion and return to school and play protocols. Education should always be provided to athletes and parents if an athlete has a suspected concussion. This should include information on safely returning to school and play, tips to aid in recover (such as rest), danger signs and when to seek immediate care, and how to help reduce an athlete’s risk for a future concussion.
The ImPACT program will allow CVSC coaches, parents and players access to important tools that will help with assessment and protocols that must be followed before injured players are allowed to return to play.
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