Prescott High School
Protocols and Procedures: Classroom Concussion Management
Introduction: Catastrophic Head injuries or Concussions injuries that should be managed effectively. A concussion is not an injury that can be observed from an outsider perspective, but should be taken very seriously. A concussion can effect education in many ways; Cognitive function can be decreased, and many students observe deficits emotionally, socially, and behaviorally. This document will outline the protocol for concussion management of the classroom.
What is a concussion?
A concussion can be defined as “a trauma induced alteration in mental status that may or may not involve the loss of consciousness.” (Steven P. Broglio, et al., 2014) For classroom purposes, a concussion must be diagnosed by a Licensed Physician, a Physician’s Assistant, or an Athletic Trainer.
Administration should ensure that this procedure is in place at Prescott High School.
In the event that a concussion is suspected from an activity at school, the concussion can be handled by any designated appropriate individuals such as the nurse, athletic trainer, or administration staff. The student should be treated with the following guidelines.
- Administration of first aid (do not give the student mediation)
- Ensure the student is under constant supervision
- Monitor symptoms for deterioration
- Transport the student immediately if he shows any of the following signs
- Pupillary size difference
- Loss of Consciousness (Even briefly)
- Increasing head pain
- Decreased coordination
- Slurred Speech
- Seizures or Convulsions
- Difficulty recognizing people or places
- Increasing confusion
- Unusual behavior\
- Notify all teachers of the student to monitor for symptoms if a concussion is suspected
- Approve and Implement adjustments to the students schedule
Develop an individual Education Plan (IEP) for the student if necessary.
Teachers and Staff
In the classroom setting, brain injuries often correlate to a variety of challenges with education. Most students will display cognitive symptoms that result in decreased speed of reading, difficulty with multiple step equations, and difficulty retaining attention for a prolonged period of time. In the circumstance that a concussion is suspected, teachers should;
Observe symptoms of a student, and communicate those symptoms to the parents and anyone else who may be involved such as the nurse, athletic trainer, or coaches.
Coaches and P.E. Teachers
Coaches and Physical Education Teachers must recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion and mechanisms that cause them, such as bumps, blows, or jolts to the head.
Any student who is suspected of concussion needs to be evaluated by a medical professional before returning to participation of any sort. This includes (but is not limited to) running, jogging, and lifting.
Parents or Guardians
In the event of a head injury parents must be notified by any of the involved personnel, likely a licensed healthcare professional. The parents need to understand the following:
- What a concussion is (Defined above)
- Medical attention needs or specifics (referrals, check-ins, supervision, ect.)
- The potential effects of learning and performance
- Diagnosis is the responsibility of a Physician
- No medication unless prescribed by their physician
Concussions that happen outside of school
Concussions that happen outside of school campus still must be managed appropriately. The CDC recommends the following guidelines (if applicable).
- Allow extra time for test/in-class assignment completion
- Assign a peer to take notes for the student
- Allow the student to record classes/lectures
- Increase repetition in assignments to reinforce learning
- Break assignments down into smaller activities (if possible)
- Provide Alternate methods for the student to demonstrate mastery such as multiple choice questions, as opposed to long essay responses
- Arrange preferential seating-such as moving the student away from windows or bright areas
- Set reasonable expectations
- Involve the family in management plans
- Follow recommendations that are prescribed by their Physician, Physician’s Assistant, Nurse, Athletic Trainer or School Administration.
(Susan Davies, et al., n.d.)
Steven P. Broglio, P. A., Robert C. Cantu, M., Gerard A. Gioia, P., Kevin M. Guskiewicz, P. A., Jeffrey Kutcher, M., & Michael Palm, M. T. (2014). National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Management of Sport Concussion. Retrieved from National Athletic Trainers’ Association: https://www.nata.org/sites/default/files/Concussion_Management_Position_Statement.pdf
Susan Davies, M., Gerry Gioia, P., Wayne Gordon, P., Mark Halstead, M., Karen McAvoy, P., & PsyD, E. R. (n.d.). Returning to Schools After a Concussion. Retrieved from Center for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/concussion
Trillium Lakelands School Board Concussion Return to Classroom Policy. (2014). Trillium Lakelands School Board Concussion Return to Classroom Policy. Trillium Lakelands, United States of America: Trillium Lakelands District School Board.