School District Concussion Policy Checklist
Does your school district have a formal school board approved concussion policy that is in compliance with the NJ Concussion Law?
Does the policy define "trained in the management of concussion?"
While "trained in the management of concussions" is included in the law, there currently is not a formally approved concussion credential that identifies a physician's training. The ATSNJ recommends you seek concussion care from a physician experienced with concussions, who is up to date on the latest guidelines in the recognition of the signs, symptoms, and appropriate management of concussive brain injury.
Does the policy define "asymptomatic?"
An athlete should be considered "asymptomatic" when they express a complete resolution of symptoms (at rest, during academic activities and throughout each phase of the graduated return to play protocol), demonstration of normal neurologic function including balance, neurocognitive function, psychological function, sleep, and general health.
Does the policy detail a graduated return to activity protocol?
Prior to returning to full activity, all athletes should follow a graduated return to exercise protocol that includes increased demands as detailed in the Zurich guidelines. The following link details this protocol: Zurich Consensus Statement
Does the policy provide for the necessary academic accommodations for brain injured students? May require any or all of the following
Modification of reading/homework load
Shorten classes and/or frequent breaks during the day
Increased time to complete projects
No significant classroom or standardized testing
Check for return of symptoms when performing activities requiring attention and/or concentration
Parents may need to request a meeting to discuss a 504 plan or speak to the school management team to discuss this or any other concerns
Is a concussion education program in place for coaches?
Is a concussion education program in place for athletes?
Is the district’s athletic trainer's continuing education on concussions up to date?
Has your school district’s team physician taken an education program in compliance with the New Jersey Concussion Law?
Is a concussion education program in place for nurses?
Does the district distribute and receive a parent’s signed acknowledgment of the Department of Education’s Concussion and Head Injury Fact Sheet?
Is a concussion education program in place for guidance counselors and other appropriate school personnel?
“Concussion Wise™”, an online concussion education program, is designed meet the educational needs for each of the above groups. For information on how to take this course, please visit: http://www.atsnj.org/concussionwise/concussionwise.html
Full Time On Site Licensed Athletic Trainer?
Every school that has sports should have a licensed athletic trainer, a qualified health care provider, who is educated in the prevention, immediate care, treatment and rehabilitation of all athletic injuries, included but not limited to concussions. Licensed athletic trainers are the only health care provider who are required to receive mandated concussion education as per the New Jersey Concussion Law.
Does your school district use a graded symptom checklist and/or SCAT2?
Does your school district use neurocognitive testing?
Examples include: ImPact, Axon, Headminder, ANAM
Emergency plans should include a pre-established, well thought out plan of action that is implemented in the event of an emergency situation. Items should include, but are not limited to:
- Accessible entrance for EMS during games and practices.
- An accessible AED for games and practices.
- Necessary documentation should be readily available with emergency phone numbers and student’s medical conditions during all practices and games.
Appropriate medical supplies should be available on their sidelines at home and away games and practices.
Return to Participation following a concussion
A student who participates in an interscholastic sports program and who sustains or is suspected of having sustained a concussion or other head injury while engaged in a sports competition or practice shall be immediately removed from the sports competition or practice. A student-athlete who is removed from competition or practice shall not participate in further sports activity until he is evaluated by a physician or other licensed healthcare provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussions, and receives written clearance from a physician trained in the evaluation and management of concussions to return to competition or practice.
For more information, please visit the ATSNJ Resources on Concussions.