Physical play, organized sports and martial arts are all great ways for kids to stay healthy and gain important skills in leadership and teamwork. In the normal course of athletics, all sorts of injuries can occur including head injury.

Concussions are the most common type of head injury and are caused by an impact or forceful motion of the head or other part of the body, resulting in rapid movement of the brain within the skull. Concussions can happen to anyone at any time due to bumps, blows or jolts to the head or body. Common causes include falls, motor vehicle crashes, and sports and recreational activities.

It is crucial for instructors, parents, and teens to recognize the signs and symptoms of concussions, understand the potential consequences, and prevent further injury.

MSMAP’s Concussion FAQ is designed to offer participants, parents, and instructors direction in the event of a possible concussion and encourage involvement by medical professionals in a step-by-step protocol for treatment and observation. Our number one goal is to promote and champion the safety and health of our participants.

NOTE: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.

 

What is it?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that interferes with normal brain function. Medically, a concussion is a complex, pathophysiological event to the brain that is induced by trauma which may or may not involve a loss of consciousness (LOC). A concussion results in a variety of physical, cognitive, emotional, and sleep-related symptoms.

80% to 90% of people with a concussion recover quickly and fully, but for some people, symptoms can last from several minutes, weeks and even months in some cases. Older adults, young children and teens usually take the longest to recover from concussions. In addition, a person that has suffered a concussion in the past is at a greater risk of having another one and may find that it takes longer to recover.

Blast Off into Concussion Safety! For a fun way to learn more about concussions, the Injury Center of the Centers for Disease Control developed a mobile game app on concussion safety for children aged 6 to 8, HEADS UP Rocket Blades. Through a futuristic world of galactic racing adventures children can learn the benefits of playing it safe and smart!

The app aims to teach children:

 

Take it slow

Medical science and concussion care experts have found that a concussed athlete must take a gradual and progressive, stage-by-stage, step-by-step return to training under medical supervision to minimize risks and allow the brain to properly recover.

California Assembly Bill 2127* mandates a MINIMUM timeline for recovery from a concussion, but medical experts recognize that many adolescent concussion patients may take much longer to recover. Always be cautious as returning to training and play too quickly may have catastrophic consequences.

It is very important for physical and mental rest after a concussion because rest helps the brain to heal. Accept that it will take time to rebuild stamina. Only when symptoms have reduced significantly, and with a health care professional’s consultation, should a person gradually resume their normal routine.

Sometimes, people find that their symptoms come back or they develop new symptoms.dThis is a sign that they are doing too much, too soon. Stop these activities and take more time to rest and recover. As the days go by, people can expect to gradually feel better.

* CA AB 2127 is a California law regulating how California school districts, charter schools, and private schools are required to handle concussions that occur during school hours and during interscholastic sports.

 

What to do?

In the case of a possible concussion, MSMAP adheres to the following procedures:

1

Fill out the Concussion Notification Form in duplicate and signed by a representative of MSMAP.

2

PARENT/LEGAL GUARDIAN: If a parent/legal guardian of the player is present, have the parent/legal guardian sign and date the Form, and give the parent/legal guardian one copy of the completed Form. If the parent/legal guardian is not present, then the MSMAP representative is responsible for notifying the parent/legal guardian ASAP by phone or email and then submitting the Form to the parent/legal guardian by email or mail.

3

INSTRUCTOR: When the parent/guardian is not present, the instructor must make record of how and when the parent/legal guardian was notified. The notification will include a request for the parent/legal guardian to provide confirmation and completion of the Concussion Notification Form whether in writing or electronically.

Very Important:  Following a concussion, participants may come into the studio and watch, but must not be in full uniform nor come on the mat for training until MSMAP has received a Medical Release Notification from the participant's physician.

 

Learn More

There are a variety of resources available for online training, brief resources and faq sheets, and apps for both iOS and Android. All of these resources are helpful for improving the identification, understanding, and treatment of concussions for continued long-term health.

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