What Is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury or TBI caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.
Concussions Are Serious
Medical providers may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, the effects of a concussion can be serious. If your child is diagnosed with a concussion please contact your school nurse so that plans may be put in place for a safe return to school and sports. Please also report any previously diagnosed concussions to the school nurse.
Return to School
After a diagnosis of a concussion, your doctor should provide you with a re-entry plan for returning to school. Most students will only need informal adjustments to academics but some may require more formalized supports. Consult the CDC website for information on ensuring a safe and successful return to academics.
Information for Student Athletes
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services now requires that all schools subject to the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) rules adhere to the following law:DPH 105 CMR 201.000. Student-athletes and marching band members, their parents, coaches, athletic directors, athletic trainers, volunteers, school nurses, and healthcare providers (physicians, nurse practitioners) must learn about the consequences of head injuries, and concussions through training programs and written materials. The Athletic Director will inform students and their parents about what must be turned in as proof of this training at the pre-season meeting.
Student athletes should report any previous head injuries or concussion diagnoses to their coaches using the forms below:
Return to Play
After a concussion, an athlete will only be allowed to return to play with the written approval of their doctor. The CDC recommends five gradual steps that should be followed to help safely return an athlete to sports and activities.