Trainers should monitor all high school athletes for concussions, grand jury says


Concussions are a major concern in football, including at the high school level, but football is not the only sport in which concussions occur. High schools in San Mateo County need to take steps to detect such injuries in athletes in all school sports and use care in determining when students can get back in the game, according to a June 29 grand jury report.

A concussion occurs when a person's head collides with some hard object, including the ground, with an impact severe enough to cause the brain to shake within the skull. Using neurological tests administered on the sidelines, trained coaches and medics can detect concussions by measuring an athlete's brain processing speed, reaction time and visual and verbal memory, the report says.

The grand jury recommends that high schools establish neurological baselines for athletes at the beginning of the sports season and hire trainers certified in testing students and detecting concussions "on the field as they happen." The trainers should be present at all games, including soccer and basketball, the report says.

"Such testing can be used to prevent an injured athlete from returning to play before the brain is fully healed," the report says. "Studies show if a teen athlete returns to play too early, the original injury may become more serious. The athlete could then be at far greater risk for more concussions."

Click here to read the grand jury report online.

— Dave Boyce

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Posted by football fan
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 30, 2015 at 1:47 pm

in the games that we watched in the past, the football coach at paly used to put many injured players back into the game. seemed like it wasn't the prudent thing to do, but guess the game was more important.

Like this comment
Posted by Youth sports
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 30, 2015 at 3:27 pm

> in the past

I'll bet you haven't been to a football game recently. Coaches at all levels (and I assume all sports, but definitely with football) have been extensively trained over the last several years. The equipment is much better. Practices have been adjusted. Safety is foremost.

An example for youth sports participants (click back to the main page for an idea of specific coach training and education) Web Link

While I have only had a chance to scan the Grand Jury report at this moment, I am happy they are looking at the situation in all sports (note the numbers for concussions in girls soccer and basketball.)

Their recommendations seem a little behind the curve for most schools today; with the exception of baseline testing (unsure which schools are testing this year,) most schools and leagues are ahead of the Grand Jury content and recs. I look forward to reading in more detail.

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Posted by Robert D.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 30, 2015 at 9:22 pm

Robert D. is a registered user.

For sure football is common, but it is common in other sports such as Soccer. One sport often not captured in stats (as some schools do not recognize it as a sport) is Cheer Leading, so the stats become skewed. Needless to say, the Grand Jury got it right. Outside of football, attend any practice and even most events, there is little supervision on this and even less training. How many times has a high school athlete walked off the field (outside of football) and the coach simply sits them on the bench for a short period. it all comes down to training and recognition.
Having a base is the most important aspect. I glad that was caught and I will be happier when implemented.

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Posted by soccer fan
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 1, 2015 at 9:58 am

two examples in last night's game--although, not youth sports per se--the head collision between germany and us-- both were on the ground for some time, one bleeding profusely, and both went right back into the game. i am sure there was some quick check for both--but, boy was it quick. one was bleeding throughout the rest of the entire match--i thought that was also outdated--uniforms have to be changed, courts have to be mopped up, bleeding has to be stopped. but i guess in world cup, that isn't the case??

this absolutely can't happen in high school / club sports, but i am sure that it does way too often.

pop warner / youth football is a prime example of the practice and get tough and get back in there. Kudos to Brandi for championing the "no heading" rule for youth soccer.

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Posted by father
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jul 1, 2015 at 10:02 am

to youth sports comment above. this happens way too often in youth sports-- football, soccer, basketball, baseball, you name it. we go to a lot of youth / high school games, and see it quite often--including this year. and--even practices.
one athlete--got dinged pretty badly in a football game--due to lack of players at his position, he went back into the game and on the very next play received an ACL injury and was out for the year.

Like this comment
Posted by Play Safe
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 1, 2015 at 12:38 pm

If we called concussions "traumatic brain injuries" maybe people would pay more attention. There's a company in Seattle I think called X2 that makes a sensor patch that will cumulatively measure the amount of head impact an athlete experiences. It's used in sports such as football, skiing, hockey, rugby, etc. The NFL players use it and many schools are adopting it -- college and high school.

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