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Return To Play

Concussion in Sports

Concussions can occur in any sport or recreation activity. So, all coaches, parents, and athletes need to learn concussion signs and symptoms and what to do if a concussion occurs.

Fast Facts:

  • A concussion is a brain injury and all are serious.
  • Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness.
  • Recognition and proper response to concussions when they first occur can help prevent further injury or even death.

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 that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.
  • Georgia’s Return-To-Play law passed during the 2013 Legislative session and was signed by Governor Nathan Deal on April 23, 2013.  The bill, aimed at protecting the state’s youth from concussion-related injuries, becomes effective January 1, 2014.  Georgia joins 43 other states that have passed similar legislation.

 

Components of Georgia’s Return-To-Play law

Age: youth athletes 7 years of age to under 19 years of age

For:  Boards of Education, Administrators of Non-public Schools, and Governing bodies of Charter Schools.

  • 20-2-324.1(b) - adopt and implement a concussion management and return to play policy that contains:
    1. before each athletic season , provide to all youth athletes’ parents or legal guardian an information sheet  that informs them about the nature and risk of concussion and head  injury;
    2. if a youth athlete participating in a youth athletic activity exhibits symptoms of having a concussion, that athlete will be removed from the activity and be evaluated by a health care provider; and
    3. if the youth athlete is diagnosed with a concussion by the health care provider, the coach or other designated personnel will not allow the youth athlete to return to practice/play until the youth athlete receives clearance from a health care provider for a graduated or full return to play.

For:   Youth Sports Leagues / Associations/ Organizations:

  • 20-2-324.1 (c) -  At registration for a youth athletic activity, provide to all youth athletes’ parents or legal guardian an information sheet that informs them about the nature and risk of concussion and head injury.  These organizations are also strongly encouraged to establish and implement a concussion management and return to play policy.

Recent Research

  • Concussions from Youth Football: Results from NEISS Hospitals Over An 11-Yr.  Time Frame 2002-2012. Orthapedic Journal of Sports Medicine, December 2013
 

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

If the sports team is a member of a sports related association refer to their policies or by-laws for Concussion Management / Return-To-Play requirements  which may be different from the Georgia Law. 

 

RESOURCES:

Concussion Policy:

 

Information  Sheets:

 

Training endorsed by Georgia Department of Public Health

Coaches – Schools and Youth Leagues

  • National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

Healthcare Professionals

Parent Information

Other Resources:

 


Contact Information:

Carol Ball | 404-651-7021 | coball@dhr.state.ga.us