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Concussion Awareness

SCMAF recognizes the need for increased awareness about concussions, head injuries and brain trauma. SCMAF is aware that concussions in sports are an extremely important topic for coaches and parents of young athletes no matter the sport. The Sports Concussion Institute estimates that between 5-10% of all athletes will experience a concussion during a given season and those numbers increase for contact sports such as football and soccer.
In order to assist SCMAF's membership, coaches, officials, parents and players, a number of resources have been made available.

The CDC HEADS UP to Youth Sports Program offers a free online course to help keep athletes safe from concussions. It also provides tool kit materials and fact sheets to help educate yourself and others about sports-related concussions.

CDC: HEADS UP to Youth Sports: Online Training

HEADS UP Concussion in Youth Sports is a free, online course available to coaches, parents, and others helping to keep athletes safe from concussion. It features interviews with leading experts, dynamic graphics and interactive exercises, and compelling storytelling to help you recognize a concussion and know how to respond if you think that your athlete might have a concussion. Once you complete the training and quiz, you can print out a certificate, making it easy to show your league or school you are ready for the season.

What is a concussion?                                                                        

A concussion is a brain injury or trauma caused by a hit or blow to the head.  Concussions can range from mild to severe and can occur even if the athlete doesn't lose consciousness.  If untreated, concussions in youth athletes can change the way their brain works and can lead to long-term developmental problems including permanent brain damage. 

Symptoms and Signs of a possible concussion in youth players:

  • Blurry, fuzzy, or double visionConcusisonPic
  • Sensitivity to light and/or noise
  • Headaches
  • Concentration problems or memory lose
  • Feeling sluggish
  • Balance and dexterity problems or dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Vomiting or weak stomach
  • General confusion

Recommended Return to Play Procedures/Tips:

If a player is suspected of having a concussion, they NEED to seek medical attention immediately. 

  • Youth participants should be kept out of all athletic activities (including practice) when a concussion is suspected/diagnosed.  While the brain is healing from a trauma, athletes are significantly more likely to receive a second concussion if they begin athletic activity too soon. 
  • Keep possibly concussed athletes away from any cognitive activities that require concentration or intense focus.  Activities such as video games, computer work, cell phone games, lengthy TV watching, should be all avoided. 
  • Do not give any medication to an athlete who is suspected of having a concussion unless it was previously prescribed or authorized by a physician after the trauma. 
  • The State of California youth sports concussion safety law (AB2127, Chapter 165), National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), and SCMAF mandate that no youth athlete be permitted to return to competition (games or practice) until they are cleared by a licensed physician. 

The links and resources below give additional information on facts about concussions, signs and symptoms, suggestions for prevention and treatment.

National Council of Youth Sports

NCYS is well-known for its advocacy in promoting healthy lifestyles and safe environments for stronger neighborhoods and communities.