It is also our responsibility to identify someone that is knowledgeable in CPR and/or medical training that is going to assist you during the games.
We should not rely on the student athlete's diagnosis because most times they want to play no matter what. As mentors, we must get past the coach mentality of playing hurt because it is one of our main players. Let us not lose sight and forget that we are talking about youth athletes.
As you very well know there has been a lot of focus on concussions. According to the Center Disease Center (CDC) website each year, U.S. emergency departments (EDs) treat an estimated 173,285 sports- and recreation-related TBIs, including concussions, among children and adolescents, from birth to 19 years. (MMWR October 2011) Children and teens are more likely to get a concussion and take longer to recover than adults.
Concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth-causing the brain to bounce around or twist within the skull. This sudden movement of the brain can cause stretching and tearing of brain cells, damaging the cells and creating chemical changes in the brain.
HOW CAN I RECOGNIZE A POSSIBLE CONCUSSION?
To help spot a concussion, you should watch for and ask others to report the following two things:
1. A forceful bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that results in rapid movement of the head.
2. Any concussion signs or symptoms, such as a change in the athlete's behavior, thinking, or physical functioning. Signs and symptoms of concussion generally show up soon after the injury. But the full effect of the injury may not be noticeable at first. For example, in the first few minutes the athlete might be slightly confused or appear a little bit dazed, but an hour later he or she can't recall coming to the practice or game.
You should repeatedly check for signs of concussion and also tell parents what to watch out for at home. Any worsening of concussion signs or symptoms indicates a medical emergency.
My Philosophy: During the practices, making sure all student athletes are taught the proper techniques as it relates to the particular sport they are participating in. As well as asking the student athletes about injuries they may have sustained prior to them coming to practice. Let's not forget they are children and if we don't ask, they will never tell us. As mentors, it is our responsibility to make sure the safety of the child takes precedence over playing the game. This also bridges the gap to keep the parent - student athlete - coach all on the same page.