Concussion Management Protocols

Concussions and Return to Play Protocol

What is a concussion?  In short, a concussion is a brain injury.  Concussions are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body.  You can’t see a concussion.  Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after the injury or may not appear or be noticed until days after the injury. If your student athlete reports one or more symptoms of concussion listed below, or if you notice the symptoms yourself, seek medical attention right away from the athletic trainer and/or your family physician.

   Signs observed by Parents or Guardians                 Symptoms Reported by Athlete
    Appear dazed or stunned                                            Headache or “pressure” in head
    Is confused                                                                Nausea or vomiting
    Forgetful with instruction                                             Balance problems or dizzy
    Unsure of game, score, or opponent                             Double or blurry vision
    Moves clumsily                                                          Sensitive to light or noise
    Answers questions slowly                                           Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
    Loses consciousness (even briefly)                              Just feeling “not right”
    Can’t recall events prior to or after hit or fall    

Spencerport Central School District’s concussion management procedure states that when a student-athlete has sustained concussion/concussive symptom(s) they must see their Primary Care Physician (PCP) for written clearance to return to participation.  This note must be brought to the school and given to the school nurse.   Once the note is received the student-athlete will follow the Return to Play Protocol (RTP) by meeting and following the instructions of the certified athletic trainer. They will be instructed to perform light exertional activities, progress to sport specific exercises the following day, non-contact drills the next day, full out practice the following day to be cleared for unrestricted sport participation the next day.  At any time the student-athlete has symptoms of a concussion reoccur they will restart the RTP protocol after 24 hours symptom-free.  

Should your student-athlete sustain concussion/concussive symptom(s) a letter will be sent home by the athletic department outlining the protocol.  The process may sound long but it is very necessary to ensure the safety of your student-athlete.  Should you have any questions please feel free to contact me at

Information about the Concussion Management and Awareness Act that took effect July 1, 2012 can be found on the State Education Department's website at 

Further information may also be found from a Democrat and Chronicle news article on Sept. 15, 2012 under related files below.

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