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Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission Concussion Management Policy

Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission Concussion Management Policy

Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission has established a policy that will provide information
and resources to deal with the issues of concussion prevention, recognition and treatment. This policy
will govern all sponsored Lexington County youth sports.

This policy will provide guidelines involving how to recognize signs and symptoms of a concussion and
procedures for dealing with individuals and/or parents when a concussion is suspected, as well as
mandatory rules regarding the return to play/activity for the participant.

A concussion can be caused by a blow to the head, jolt to the body, or any sudden force that results in a
rapid acceleration/deceleration of the brain inside the skull. This impact of the brain against the rigid
inside walls of the skull can cause a change in neurological function and a host of other symptoms
depending on which part of the brain was injured. Youth athletes are particularly vulnerable to the
effects of a concussion. Even what appears to be very minor “bump” or hit, it can cause catastrophic
results when an athlete is returned to action too soon.

Second Impact Syndrome, which in some cases can be fatal, is a direct result of returning to activity or
participation before all symptoms have cleared. This is especially true for those under 14 years of age.
Therefore, continued participation in any sport / activity following a concussion can lead to worsening
concussion symptoms, as well as increased risk for further injury to the brain, and even death.

The well-being of the athlete is our greatest concern during any practice game or activity. Coaches’,
officials, volunteers and parents are being asked to make all efforts to ensure that concussed athletes do
not continue to participate. Thus, coaches, parents, volunteers and officials should also be looking for
signs of concussion in all participants and should immediately remove any suspected concussed
participant from play or activity.

If a Coach, Official or volunteer observes questionable signs, symptoms, or behavior, or a
mechanism/vicious hit or impact which could cause a concussion he/she must remove the participant
from the game or activity for further evaluation and notify the parent/guardian and the Lexington
County Recreation & Aging Commission Program Supervisor.

Coaches, Officials, parents or Volunteers will NOT be expected to “diagnose” a concussion. That is the
job of an appropriate health-care professional. However, they will be asked to use their best judgment
in observing the signs, symptoms and behaviors, associated with concussions.

These are the steps that should be followed when Coaches, Coaching Staff, Officials, Parents or
Volunteers believe a player has a concussion:

1. Remove player/participant from activity/competition.
2. When available, an Athletic Trainer, Physician, Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner shall
evaluate the player/participant for concussion signs and symptoms.
a. If the player/participant exhibits any 1 sign or symptom, they may not return to
play/activities that day.
b. Observe player/participant for 20-30 minutes after the player has been removed from
3. Notify Parent or Guardian when it is someone underage (any participant under 18 years old)
4. Notify appropriate Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission Staff
5. Fill out appropriate injury/incident report for Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission
6. Any participant suspected of having a concussion should be evaluated by an appropriate
healthcare professional within 72 hours of the “injury”.
a. Note: an appropriate healthcare professional should be knowledgeable in the evaluation
and management of sports-related concussions and may include MD’s, DO’s, NP, PA and
certified athletic trainers.
b. Any participant with a concussion must be medically cleared by an appropriate
healthcare professional prior to completing the return to play (RTP) stages and resuming
participation in any practice, game or league play. This clearance shall be in the form of
a written letter signed by the healthcare professional (MD, DO). A copy of this letter
must be supplied to the Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission program
supervisor prior to resuming/starting day 5 of the 5 Day Gradual Return to Play
7. At this point the recommended 5 day gradual return to play, supervised by the
coach/parent/activity leader, and must take place. The documentation of what was done on
each day must signed by coach/parent/activity leader. The 5 day gradual return to play form is
available from Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission. When the fifth day has been
completed ALL the supporting documentation must be turned into the Lexington County
Recreation & Aging Commission supervisor for athlete to be cleared to take part in activities
associated with Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission.

5 Day Gradual Return to Play Procedure:

The Gradual Return to Play Procedure shall begin when the athlete is symptom-free and has been
evaluated by an appropriate healthcare professional (MD’s, DO’s, NP, PA or Athletic Trainer). During the
gradual Return to play Procedure the athlete may not progress to the next stage until 24 hours has
passed (two stages cannot be completed in one day).
If any symptom of a concussion recurs, or if concussion signs and/or behaviors are observed at any time
during the return-to-activity program, the athlete must discontinue all activity immediately.
If symptoms recur at any step, the athlete must return to prior day activities they completed without a
recurrence of any sign or symptom after a 24-hour period has passed.
Below are the days and activities suggested for the 5 Day Gradual Return to Play Procedure:
Day 1: Light aerobic activity: Walking, swimming, exercise bike; keeping exertion for 10-15 min
Day 2: Moderate aerobic activity and light resistance training: 20 min, exertional drills in sport, (e.g.,
running drills in football/soccer, skating drills in hockey). 10-20 min calisthenics (jumping jacks, sit-ups,
mountain climbers, burpees)
Day 3: Sport-specific exercises NON-contact training drills: Progression to more complex noncontact
drills (passing / catching drills in football, shooting/passing in basketball, hitting drills in volleyball)
Day 4: Limited full-contact practice. (Note: The participant/athlete must have a Doctors clearance note
and the Return to Play paperwork turned into Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission
Staff/Supervisor to move on to day 5 of the Gradual Return to Play Procedure.)
Day 5: Full contact practice: “Game like” activity
Day 6: Return to full sport participation.

Required Training
All Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission coaches, volunteers and Independent Leagues
who participate in organized youth athletic activities sponsored by Lexington County Recreation & Aging
Commission shall complete an annual training on the prevention and recognition of sports‐related head
injuries and the associated health risks, including second impact syndrome. Documentation of such
training shall be maintained by the Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission.

All coaches, volunteers and Independent Leagues participating in youth athletic activities sponsored by
the Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission shall be required to complete annual concussion
education training through one or more of the following approved programs:
1. CDC’s concussion education training:
a. Use the Concussion in Youth Sports training module. Then choose Launch the Course on
right hand side.
2. NFHS concussion course:
a. This course is more geared toward High School coaches.
3. Concussion education event sponsored by the Department with Sport Medical Professional

In addition, Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission, Independent Leagues, and Organizations
shall provide to all coaches, volunteers, athletes, and their parents or legal guardian, an information
sheet on concussions. The information sheet shall inform them of the nature and risk of concussions and
brain injury, including the risks associated with continuing to play after a concussion or brain injury has
been sustained. This will be done annually and prior to the start of each athletic season. The parent or
legal guardian's receipt of the information sheet must be documented in writing or by electronic means
before the athlete is permitted to participate in an athletic competition or practice. All information
sheets must be signed and submitted to Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission Staff,
Independent Leagues or Organizations.

Independent Organizations:
Independent Leagues and Organizations that are under the jurisdiction of the Lexington County
Recreation & Aging Commission are required to provide the agency with a compliance form verifying the
completion of concussion training by their staff, coaches, and volunteers. Independent Leagues and
Organizations must also verify all coaches, volunteers, athletes and their parents or legal guardians have
been provided an informational sheet on concussions. The compliance form must be signed by the
Independent Leagues board of directors or responsible party.

Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission Helmet Re-certification Policy:
Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission recommends all Independent Leagues, Organizations
and parents to follow the recommendations from the NOCSAE and helmet manufactures regarding
helmet re-certification. NOCSAE standards include re-certification standards for helmets used in football,
baseball, softball, ice hockey and lacrosse.

National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE)
Re-certified helmets must have a re-certification label that includes the name of the re-certifying firm and
the year of re-certification. This seal may be placed on the interior or exterior of the shell in an area in
which it can be easily read without removal of any permanent component and will also contain the
following language: “This helmet has been re-certified according to procedures established to meet the
NOCSAE Standard.”
NOCSAE urges that the warning statement be shared with members of the football, baseball, softball
and lacrosse squads and that all coaches alert participants to the potential for injury. The wording of the
warning label as set forth in the NOCSAE standard specifies the core information that must be conveyed
by the label, but permits a manufacturer to add or supplement the content as it determines necessary.


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