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Impact of Concussions - FOR PLAYERS
A concussion is a brain injury. A concussion occurs when a person experiences a significant hit to the head, face, jaw or body causing the brain to shift and impact the inside of the skull forcing a temporary loss of normal brain functioning. It may also result from a whiplash effect to the head and neck in a front-to-back or side-to-side motion. Imagine not wearing your seatbelt and being suddenly thrown against the inside of your vehicle and getting injured; the brain slamming into the skull gets an injury during a concussion.
 
NEW!! Download the "Concussion Awareness Management Chart" to know specifics about concussions:
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Common Symptoms and Signs
A concussion may involve loss of consciousness. However, a concussion most often occurs without a loss of consciousness. Symptoms and signs may have a delayed onset (may be worse later that day or even the next morning), so players should continue to be observed even after the initial symptoms and signs have returned to normal.

Symptoms

Signs

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling dazed
  • Seeing stars
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Ringing in ears
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Confusion, disorientation
  • Poor balance or coordination
  • Slow or slurred speech
  • Poor concentration
  • Delayed responses to questions
  • Vacant stare
  • Decreased playing ability
  • Unusual emotions, personality change, and inappropriate behaviour

 



Caution: A physician must see all players who experience a concussion as soon as possible. Coaches, trainers, players and parents should not attempt to treat a concussion without a physician’s involvement. Do NOT administer medication as this can worsen the condition.

A concussed player must not return to play in that game or practice! Allow the athlete to return to play only with written permission from a health care professional with experience in evaluating for concussion (oddly, not all doctors know what to look for when dealing with a concussed player).

Respect, Attitude, and Support
Players need to use common sense when making contact with other athletes on the field. No hits from behind, to the head, or to the face all of which can cause serious injuries to players. Treat one another with respect on and off the field – treat others the way you would want to be treated -- safely. Concussed players need positive support from their teammates by recognizing the importance of a healthy brain to avoid long-term brain disabilities. Players need to acknowledge they are ALL susceptible to experiencing concussions and being concussed does not make a player a ‘wimp’ nor does it make them somehow ‘stronger’. Getting your ‘bell rung’ by being concussed is NOT ‘cool’. A concussion is serious matter as it is a brain injury that can have lasting harmful consequences.
The player’s attitude towards continuing to play when injured must also be stopped. A player must wait before returning to play. An injured played may involve themselves in light activities only, with gradual increase in activities with observation and proper assessment from trainers, coaches, doctors, etc. The smart athlete values the importance of being healthy and taking the time and necessary steps to fully recover from a concussion injury. Do not feel as if you are letting down your team or coach because of your concussion injury! Take the time to heal! You will be better and more effective to yourself and team with a healthy brain, as opposed to being permanently sidelined due to your unwillingness to wait and heal! A good coach will also encourage you to wait and should not engage you in contact play until you are ready as based on the ‘Return-To-Play’ medical requirements. When In Doubt, Sit It Out!

Know the game and have fun!
Players need to find a balance between safety and performance. To reduce the chances of being injured, players must be aware of themselves on the field in relation to other players to avoid disastrous hits. Practice! Know your drills! Athletes must also be skilled at footwork and drills allowing players to keep alert while not actively thinking what to do during the play. Always be aware of players around you even if not involved in the immediate play (i.e.: accidental collision, tripping backwards, etc) as there is player traffic all around you at all times. Players must exercise and keep fit which helps strengthen bones and develop muscles to reduce the incident of injuries. Have fun and always properly wear your equipment!

As a player, when you receive a concussion be expected to be removed from game play. Don’t try to ‘shake it off’ and try to get back into the game – you’ll only be doing further harm to yourself! Sit it out…
  • DO tell your coach & parents you’ve been hit hard and want to sit out.
  • DO see a doctor with experience in evaluating concussions to get your injury assessed
  • DO rest and avoid physical activities until cleared to play
  • DO comply with the ‘Return-To-Play’ protocols set by the League.

A concussed player must not return to play in that game or practice! As an athlete you will be able to return to play only with written permission from a health care professional who has experience in evaluating for concussion (oddly, not all doctors know what to look for when dealing with a concussed player).

Never return to play if symptoms persist!


Injury Reduction & Prevention Tips

  • Make sure the helmet fits properly and the strap is correctly fastened (see videos- below)
  • Get a properly fitted mouth guard.  Replace worn or chewed devices.
  • Keep all equipment clean and in good repair (report any damage to RMF or Coach)
  • Teach your child to respect other players on & off the field
  • Support your child’s decision to ‘Sit It Out’ when injured; don’t force players into the game.  Follow the required ‘Return-To-Play’ protocols set by the league.

Because of the potential serious nature of head injuries, any violation of these rules will result in league discipline.

Listen to a sports industry legend offer his comments on concussions in sports. While many people will recognize Bob McKenzie from the world of hockey, his comments as a parent about the subject of concussions affect players in all contact sports.

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Properly Fitting a Riddell Helmet
(Disclaimer: It is the responsibility of coaches, players, trainers, and parents to ensure helmets are properly fitted and worn to minimize player injury. Information contained in these external websites are the responsibility of their creators, and RMF will not be held liable for any information contained within these links.)

The information provided at these websites is for your benefit to ensure your child’s helmet properly fits! Do NOT attempt to disassemble, modify, or repair helmets – report any damage to the Coach and/or RMF Equipment personnel. Be sure to let the Coach make the necessary adjustments to your player’s helmet as improper adjustments can damage the helmet and put the player at risk!! The vidoe below shows how to properly fit a helmet.

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Revised May, 2010
Last Updated on Saturday, 15 February 2014 17:54
 


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