USA Concussion Information Sheet
Please click the "Attend/Decline" button on the top right, then choose "Attend" for each of your swimmers to confirm you and your swimmers have read this information sheet.
CONCUSSION INFORMATION SHEET
Dear Parent/Guardian and Athletes,
This information sheet is provided to assist you and your child in recognizing the signs and symptoms of a concussion. Every athlete is different and responds to a brain injury differently, so seek medical attention if you suspect your child has a concussion. Once a concussion occurs, it is very important your athlete return to normal activities slowly, so he/she does not do more damage to his/her brain.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is an injury to the brain that may be caused by a blow, bump, or jolt to the head. Concussions may also happen after a fall or hit that jars the brain. A blow elsewhere on the body can cause a concussion even if an athlete does not hit his/her head directly. Concussions can range from mild to severe.
Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion
Athletes do not have to be “knocked out” to have a concussion. In fact, less than 1 out of 10concussions result in loss of consciousness. Concussion symptoms can develop right away or upto 48 hours after the injury. Ignoring any signs or symptoms of a concussion puts your child’shealth at risk!
Signs Observed by Coaches, Officials, Parents or Guardians
dazed, stunned or confused
Unsure about event, location of name of meet
Answers questions slowly
Loses consciousness (even briefly)
Shows behavior or personality changes – irritability, sadness, nervousness, emotionalCan’t recall events before or after incident
Symptoms Reported by Athlete
headache or “pressure” in head - how badly it hurts does
not matter Nausea or vomiting
Balance problems or dizziness
Double or blurry vision
to light and/or noise
Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy Concentration or memory problems Confusion
Does not “feel right”
Trouble falling asleep
Sleeping more or less than usual
Encourage your athlete to be honest with you, his/her coach and your health care provider about his/her symptoms. Many young athletes get caught up in the moment and/or feel pressured to return to sports before they are ready. It is better to miss practice or meets than the entireseason... or risk permanent damage!
Seek Medical Attention Right Away
Seeking medical attention on the day of the event is an important first step if you suspect or are told your swimmer has a concussion. A qualified health care professional will be able to determine how serious the concussion is and when it is safe for your child to return to sports and other daily activities:
should return to activity on the same day he/she gets a
No athlete may return to training, regardless of sport, until he/she is cleared by a heath care professional with a note specifying clearance. Athletes should NEVER return to the pool ifthey still have ANY symptoms....... in case an athlete returns with a note and then duringthe practice complains of a headache or other symptoms
Parents and coaches should never pressure any athlete to return to play
The Dangers of Returning Too Soon
Returning to the pool too early may cause Second Impact Syndrome (SIS) or Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS). SIS occurs when a second blow to the head happens before an athlete has completely recovered from a concussion. This second impact causes the brain to swell, possibly resulting in brain damage, paralysis, and even death. PCS can occur after a second impact. PCS can result in permanent, long-term concussion symptoms. The risk of SIS and PCS is the reason why no athlete should be allowed to participate in any physical activity before they are cleared by a qualified health care professional.
A concussion can affect school, work, and sports. Along with coaches and teachers, the schoolnurse, athletic trainer, employer, and other school administrators should be aware of the athlete’sinjury and their roles in helping the child recover. During the recovery time after a concussion, physical and mental rest is required. A concussion upsets the way the brain normally works and causes it to work longer and harder to complete even simple tasks. Activities that require concentration and focus may make symptoms worse and cause the brain to heal slower. Studiesshow that children’s brains take several weeks to heal following a concussion.
Returning to Daily Activities
Be sure your child gets plenty of rest and enough sleep at night – no late nights. Keep the same bedtime weekdays and weekends.
Encourage daytime naps or rest breaks when your child feels tired or worn-out.
Limit your child’s activities that require a lot of thinking or concentration (including social
activities, homework, video games, texting, computer, driving, jobrelated activities, movies,
parties). These activities can slow the brain’s recovery.
Limit your child’s physical activity, especially those activities where another injury or blow to the
head may occur.
Have your qualified health care professional check your child’s symptoms at different times to
help guide recovery.
Returning to School
Your athlete may need to initially return to school on a limited basis, for example for only half- days, at first. This should be done under the supervision of a qualified health care professional.
Inform teacher(s), school counselor or administrator(s) about the injury and symptoms. School personnel should be instructed to watch for:
Increased problems paying attention.
Increased problems remembering or learning new information.
Longer time needed to complete tasks or assignments.
Greater irritability and decreased ability to cope with stress.
Symptoms worsen (headache, tiredness) when doing schoolwork.
Be sure your child takes multiple breaks during study time and watch for worsening of symptoms.
If your child is still having concussion symptoms, he/she may need extra help with schoolrelated activities. As the symptoms decrease during recovery, the extra help can be removed gradually.
Returning to the Pool
Returning to the pool is specific for each person. As an example, California law requires written permission from a health care provider before an athlete can return to play. Follow instructions and guidance provided by a health care professional. It is important that you, your child andyour child’s coach follow these instructions carefully.
Your child should NEVER be on deck, practice, or participate in competition if he/she still has ANY symptoms. (Be sure that your child does not have any symptoms at rest and while doing any physical activity and/or activities that require a lot of thinking or concentration).
Be sure that the athletic trainer, coach and physical education teacher are aware of your child’sinjury and symptoms.
Your athlete should complete a step-by-step exercise-based progression, under the direction of a qualified healthcare professional.
Insurance - USA Swimming provides an excess accident medical insurance policy for USA Swimming members while participating or volunteering in a USA Swimming sponsored or sanctioned event. Details of the insurance coverage are on the USA Swimming website under Insurance and Risk Management.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - www.cdc.gov/Concussion
Zurich Concussion Conference (2012) - Consensus statement on concussion in sport: the 4thInternational Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich, November 2012. http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/47/5/250.full
ODH Violence and Injury Prevention Program - www.healthyohioprogram.org/concusionNational Federation of State High School Associations - www.nfhs.org – Index concussions
and see “A parent’s guide to concussion in sports”.
Acknowledgment of Receipt of Concussion Information Sheet
Pursuant to California Health and Safety Code §124235, a concussion and head injury information sheet shall be given by each youth sports organization offering an athletic program to each athlete in that program. The information sheet shall be signed and returned by the athlete and, if the athlete is 17 years of age or younger, shall also be signed by the athlete’s parent or guardian before the athlete initiates practice or competition. The USA Swimming Concussion Information Sheet (three pages) is attached to this acknowledgment.
Please note, the information contained in the Swimming Concussion Information Sheet and this Acknowledgment is not medical advice and is no substitute for it.
I hereby acknowledge that I have received the USA Swimming Concussion Information Sheet (three pages) from ________________________________________.
(Name of USA Swimming Team). I have read and understand its contents.
I also acknowledge that if I have any questions regarding the signs or symptoms of a concussion or other head injuries, the need to seek medical attention and the protocol for returning to daily activities, school and the swimming pool, I will consult with a licensed health care provider.
_______________________ Athlete’s Name
__________________________ Parent’s or Guardian’s Name
_____________________________ __________ Athlete’s Signature Date
_____________________________ __________ Parent’s or Guardian’s Signature Date
This signed acknowledgment may be returned through an electronic medium, including but not limited to, fax or electronic mail. Please check with your USA Swimming Team representatives regarding contact information.