Concussion describes a mild traumatic brain injury resulting from a direct or indirect impact to the head that disrupts normal brain function and may or may not be associated with loss of consciousness. If it is suspected that an athlete has sustained a concussion, he/she must be removed from athletic participation immediately. EMS may be activated if there is any concern or uncertainty regarding the severity of injury. Otherwise, the athlete’s parent/guardian must be notified of the suspected head injury.
Coaching staff must be familiar with the provisions of Rhode Island’s School and Youth Programs Concussion Act (R.I.G.L. § 16-91-3):
- Education and training are required for coaches
- Informed consent must be provided prior to participation in athletics
- Baseline computerized neurocognitive testing is encouraged but not required
- Immediate removal from participation is mandatory if concussion is suspected
- Athlete may return to play only after written clearance from a licensed physician
If a concussion is suspected:
- Remove the athlete from play.
- Ensure that the athlete is evaluated by a healthcare professional with experience in concussion evaluation and management.
- Inform the athlete’s parents or guardians about the possibility of concussion and consider providing them with a fact sheet on concussion.
- Keep the athlete out of play until evaluated and cleared to return by an experienced healthcare professional.
Coaches and other school officials must annually complete concussion training available from NFHS (Concussion in Sports, https://nfhslearn.com/courses/61129/concussion-in-sports).
ADOPTED: May 7, 2018