A Bulkley Valley Youth Soccer wants to ensure that all coaches, parents and players have access to important information with regards to signs and symptoms of a concussion. A concussion is very serious and our children are particularly susceptible to this condition as they engage in more and more sports in our community.
If you suspect your player or any other player, is displaying signs of a concussion, it is important to follow the general rule: IF IN DOUBT SIT THEM OUT. It is not worth the risk to continue as concussions need to be treated immediately or you risk making the condition worse.
If your player has been diagnosed with a concussion it is important to make your coach aware of the situation and ensure that they follow the 6 STEP RETURN TO SPORT GUIDELINES.
Information taken from Canada Soccer Concussion Policy
WHAT IS A “CONCUSSION”?
Concussion is an injury to the brain resulting in a disturbance of brain function involving thinking and behavior.
WHAT CAUSES CONCUSSION?
Concussion can be caused by a direct blow to the head or an impact to the body causing rapid movement of the head.
ONSET OF SYMPTOMS:
Symptoms of concussion typically appear immediately but may evolve within the first 24-48 hours.
WHO IS AT RISK?
All of our sport’s participants (players, but also team staff and officials). Some soccer participants are at increased risk of concussion: Children and adolescents (18 years and under) are more susceptible to brain injury, take longer to recover, and are susceptible to rare dangerous brain complications, which may include death. Female soccer players have higher rates of concussion. Participants with previous concussion are at increased risk of further concussions - which may take longer to recover.
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF BRAIN INJURY?
Failure to recognize and report concussive symptoms or returning to activity with ongoing concussion symptoms set the stage for:
1. Cumulative concussive injury
2. Second Impact Syndrome’
Second impact syndrome is a rare occurrence. An athlete sustains a brain injury and while still experiencing symptoms (not fully recovered), sustains a second brain injury, which is associated with brain swelling and permanent brain injury or death. Brain swelling may also occur without previous trauma. Recurrent brain injury is currently implicated in the development of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative brain disease seen in people with a history of brain trauma. For athletes, the brain trauma has been repetitive. Originally described in deceased boxers, it now has been recognized in many sports. Symptoms include difficulty thinking, explosive and aggressive behavior, mood disorder (depression), and movement disorder (parkinsonism).
RECOGNIZE - LEARN THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION SO YOU UNDERSTAND WHEN A SOCCER PLAYER MIGHT HAVE A SUSPECTED CONCUSSION.
Everyone involved in the game (including side-line staff, coaches, officials, players, parents and guardians of children and adolescents) should be aware of the signs, symptoms and dangers of concussion. If any of the following signs or symptoms are present following an injury the player should be suspected of having concussion and immediately removed from play or training. “If in doubt, sit them out.” “It is better to miss one game than the whole season.”
VISIBLE CLUES OF CONCUSSION – WHAT YOU MAY SEE: Any one or more of the following visual clues can indicate a concussion:
Dazed, blank or vacant look Lying motionless on ground / slow to get up Unsteady on feet / balance problems / falling over / poor coordination Loss of consciousness or responsiveness Confused or not aware of play or events Grabbing, clutching, or shaking of the head Seizure More emotional or irritable than normal for that person Injury event that could have caused a concussion
SYMPTOMS OF CONCUSSION - WHAT YOU MAY BE TOLD BY AN INJURED PLAYER: The presence of any one or more of the following symptoms may suggest a concussion:
- Headache or “Pressure in head”
- Dizziness or balance problems
- Mental clouding, confusion, or feeling slowed down
- Trouble seeing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Drowsiness or feeling like “in a fog“ or difficulty concentrating
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Difficulty with reading, learning or work
- Sleep problems: getting asleep, too much or too little Emotional / anger / sad / anxious
The Concussion Recognition Tool 5 is valuable for all first responders in recognizing suspected concussion and responding to more severe brain injury or potential neck injury. This will be available at each practice/game with the first aid kit.
Online concussion training courses for coaches or key volunteers:
Health and Fitness for the Female Player
SCAT3 - Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 3
SCAT3 – Sport Concussion Assessment Tool Child
Pocket Concussion Recognition Tool