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Concussion Protocol Explained: How Does It Work?

Coach gives speech

It’s game time and a player receives a blow to the head. Does everyone in your organization know how to respond? By having a set concussion protocol, you can quickly provide care and ensure athlete safety.

What is concussion protocol? 

A concussion protocol is a set of policies that informs everyone involved with what they need to do. It removes the guesswork from ensuring injured players are safe by documenting processes, tools, and assessments. Athletic trainers, coaches, and volunteers have outlined roles so they know the exact steps to take.

Who should be included in the protocol?

A solid concussion protocol involves stakeholders from every aspect of the injured player’s life. Each person will play a special role in helping the young athlete get treatment, monitor symptoms, and make sure they stick to their daily routine. Here are a few people to include:

Athletic trainer: Likely the first person on the scene to conduct a sideline evaluation. They can serve as a liaison between healthcare providers and the school to suggest academic accommodations during return to learn.

Concussion specialist: The point person in charge of a concussion care team. They may be involved in the diagnosis, treatment decisions, specialist referrals, and clearing a player to return to activity.

Coaches: Instrumental in cultivating a culture of safety in youth sports. They should educate players about concussion symptoms, the importance of reporting injuries, and remove athletes with suspected concussions from play.

Parents: Conducive to the recovery of a player. They will speak with doctors, monitor and report symptoms, maintain daily routines, and ensure healthy habits are followed.

Key elements for concussion protocol:

Concussion protocols can vary by organization. When creating your own, consider your league’s set up, state laws, and the latest concussion research for treatment best practices. Most healthcare providers agree the below factors help maintain the safety of youth athletes:

Concussion definition

Concussion education that identifies the signs and symptoms 

  • Baseline testing before the season starts
  • Inspection of equipment and sports facilities
  • Removal from activity criteria
  • Sideline evaluation procedures
  • Clinical evaluation processes
  • Academic adjustment guidelines
  • Return to activity procedures and guidelines

Finding concussion care tools

When investing in concussion tools for your organization, there are a few things to remember. Not all tools have FDA clearance or scientific research which can be crucial when protecting yourself and your league. ImPACT baseline, however, is supported by hundreds of independent studies and used in many state, local, and professional organizations around the world. This assessment tool helps strengthen concussion protocol in youth sports by following the latest treatment standards. 

Want to know how ImPACT baseline can improve your protocol? Request information unique to your organization’s needs today.

Tags in this article

Concussion Coach, Club Admin