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Ohio's Law: Concussion & Your Athlete

This information 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, and athletes can get a concussion even if they are wearing a helmet. 

Ohio's Return-to-Play Law: What a Parent/Guardian Needs to Know – Youth Sports Organizations 

Concussion Information Sheet Starting on April 26, 2013, Ohio Law (ORC 3707.511) requires a youth sports organization to provide a Concussion Information Sheet to the parent or guardian of an individual who wishes to practice for or complete in an athletic activity organized by the organization. This information sheet can also be found by clicking on “Concussion Information Sheet” (Youth Sports Organization Concussion Information Sheet or CDC Heads Up information Sheet.  Parents and athletes are required to receive a concussion information sheet annually for each sport. If besides access the links, you may ask for hard copy from SPY Coaches or will be in your SPY Packet

Removal from Play Coaches, referees or officials must remove an athlete if the athlete is exhibiting the signs and symptoms of a concussion during practice or a game. These include:

  • Appears dazed or stunned.
  • Is confused about assignment or position. 
  • Forgets plays.
  •  Is unsure of game, score or opponent. 
  • Moves clumsily. 
  • Answers questions slowly. 
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly). 
  • Shows behavior or personality changes (irritability, sadness, nervousness, feeling more emotional).
  • Can’t recall events before or after hit or fall. 
  • Any headache or “pressure” in head. (How badly it hurts does not matter.) 
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Balance problems or dizziness.
  • Double or blurry vision.
  •  Sensitivity 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. 

**Ohio’s return-to-play law came into effect on April 19, 2013** 

Return to Play

  • The student athlete cannot return to play, practice or training on the same day that the player is removed. 
  • Under Ohio law (ORC 3313.539 and ORC 3707.511), a physician must provide WRITTEN clearance for an athlete to return to play. Physicians (M.D. or D.O.) and Diplomates in either Chiropractic Neurology or Chiropractic Sports Medicine and Certified Chiropractic Sports Physicians who are listed in the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians (ACBSP) Concussion Registry will be considered able to meet the recommended standards of care and are able to independently clear youth athletes to return to play. All other licensed healthcare professionals must work in coordination or consultation with a physician (M.D. or D.O.), as written in HB 143. 

It is important to bring written clearance to SPY Coach even if concussion incident happen outside the SPY Swimming environment such as  at school, other  sports, or accident 

SPY's Approach to Concussions:

1.) Athletes who are suspected of sustaining a concussion, MUST be removed from practice

2.) SPY will foloow the Ohio laws which prohibit a child to return to play (practice or competition) on the same day that he/she is removed on suspicion of having sustained a concussion. 

3.) Athlete may return the following day if cleared in writing by a physician (MD or DO) or other authorized healthcare provider that they did not sustain a concussion.

For More Information
Ohio Department of Health - Ohio’s Return to Play Law: 
http://www.healthy.ohio.gov/vipp/child/returntoplay/concussion 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Heads Up in Youth Sports: http://www.cdc.gov/headsup/youthsports/index.html 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Returning to School after a Concussion: www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/schools.html 

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