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Neuse River Futbol Alliance


Concussions and concussion protocol: 

A concussion can be difficult to recognize on the field. Most occur without a loss of consciousness or an obvious sign that something is wrong with a player’s brain function. They can occur at any time throughout games or practice, as a blow to the head or body from contact with the ground, the ball or another player. Working with leading physicians for more than a decade, U.S. Soccer created Recognize to Recover resources that will help coaches, players, parents and referees identify the signs and symptoms of concussion and immediately take action with the appropriate treatment. 

If you think that your child has sustained a concussion, you might see any or all of the following signs:

When to seek medical attention after receiving a head injury?

Seek immediate medical attention if your child experiences any of the following signs after the injury:

·         Headaches that Worsen

·         Neck Pain

·         Unusual Behavior Change

·         Weakness/Numbness in Arms/Legs

·         Looks Very Drowsy (Cannot be Awakened)

·         Repeated Vomiting

·         Focal Neurologic Signs (Lacerations, Fractures, Bruising, Raised Skin, etc.)

·         Change in State of Consciousness

·         Can't Recognize People or Places

·         Increased Confusion or Irritability

·         Slurred Speech

·         Seizures

A CT Scan, MRI, or another imaging method may be administered in the Emergency Department of a hospital for the purposes of either diagnosing or ruling out a structural abnormality to the brain or skull following the injury. 

What to watch for in the days & weeks after suffering a concussion?

Mild traumatic brain injuries typically require days or weeks to recover from, depending on gender, age, activity level, concussion history, and many other personal factors. However, recovery from some mild traumatic brain injuries can take months or even years. Every person's brain and injury situation is unique, and recovery must be tailored to the needs of the individual. While some youth athletes do not feel a disruption in their life after having sustained a concussion, many find that their ability to effectively perform academic and other lifestyle activities (e.g., driving a car) is greatly affected by a concussive incident. In any case, lingering problems following a concussion should be a signal that you should consult with a healthcare professional properly trained in concussion management. As with most medical problems, early detection and treatment of a concussion is the best course of action with regard to recovery and prevention of future problems.

It is very important to NEVER return to play (physical education class, sports, practice, or game) while still experiencing symptoms of a concussion. The same sentiment can be spoken for cognitive activities (school work, video games, text messaging, etc). Management of concussive injuries should not only focus on the physical demands but also the cognitive/mental exertion placed on the recovering brain. Incorporating both cognitive and physical rest into the concussion management protocol is vital to proper recovery. Remember, the presence and/or recurrence of post-concussion symptoms are a sure sign that you have NOT fully recovered from this injury.

Gradual Return to Physical Activity

While most athletes can return to play (physical activity) in about 7-10 days, some may take longer for their symptoms to subside and may have a more prolonged absence from sports. This may be especially true in the young athlete. Once all symptoms subside and the scores on any additional objective clinical tests improve, your child may begin a return-to-play progression, supervised by a healthcare professional. This progression often takes place over a period of 4-6 days and allows the athlete to gradually return to physical activity, and eventually sport. It is recommended that the child be cleared by a physician before they start this process.

The return to play (RTP) protocol is a medically supervised stepwise process which involves a gradual increase in activity intensity and duration over the course of several (4-6) days. At each stage of the return to play protocol, specific objectives and restrictions are implemented to make sure a gradual progression is followed by the athlete and also allows for monitoring of signs and symptoms. In some cases, your healthcare professional may also want to repeat objective concussion assessments following exertion. The athlete is allowed to continue to the next level/stage if he/she is asymptomatic after the completion of the current stage.

Typically, each phase should occur in a 24 hour period, allowing for the athlete to rest and the observation of the onset of any delayed post-activity signs and symptoms. If any post-concussive symptoms do occur along the stepwise progression, the athlete is required to drop back to the previous asymptomatic stage and allowed to return to the return to play protocol after a rest period of 24 hours.

NRFA Players who are subject to a concussion during season play must receive a signed release form from their physician prior to returning to play.

Neuse River Futbol Alliance

14009 Buffalo Rd., Suite 200 
Clayton, North Carolina 27527
Phone : 919-351-0650
Email : [email protected]
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