The Durham District School Board (DDSB) has a protocol in place to handle concussions.
The DDSB believes in the safe handling of a student who has received head / whiplash injuries that have resulted in a concussion. These injuries, which are diagnosed by a physician can occur during school activities or when students are away from school.
2. INTENT OF THE CONCUSSION PROTOCOL
The following Concussion Protocol which is based on the standards described in Bill 39: An Act to amend the Education Act with Respect to Concussions (2012), is intended to assist the administrator/ Teacher/ intramural supervisor/ and coach in:
understanding concussion, its causes, the symptoms and signs;
minimizing the occurrence of a concussion from happening through teacher, intramural supervisor, and coach implementation of instructional strategies including providing students/students with information on the risks of a concussion and how to minimize those risks.;
assessing a suspected concussion at the activity/practice/game site;
responding to a suspected concussion appropriately;
informing parents of the suspected concussed child and providing resources;
informing school staff / supply teachers of the modifications / needs of the concussed student
applying the proper steps in the recovery process before the student/student resumes full participation.
3. CONCUSSION INFORMATION
i. Definition and Causes of a Concussion
A concussion is a brain injury that causes changes in how the brain cells function, leading to symptoms that can be physical (e.g. headache, dizziness), cognitive (e.g. memory problems, decreased concentration), or emotional (e.g. feeling depressed). A concussion is the most difficult sports’ injury to diagnose. The brain injury cannot be seen on x-rays or CT scans. A concussion can occur even if there has been no loss of consciousness; in fact, most concussions occur without a loss of consciousness. A concussion can occur from a direct blow to the head, but may also occur from a major physical trauma to other parts of the body (e.g., a sideways check to the body) that cause a whiplash effect on the head and neck. Ignoring a ptential concussion has grave risks. (Adapted from ThinkFirst Position Statement on Concussion).
ii. Common Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion
It is important to know that a student does not need to be “knocked out” (lose consciousness) to have had a concussion. After the concussion, the student may experience many different kinds of symptoms and it is important to remember that some symptoms may appear immediately and others later. Students may be reluctant to report symptoms of concussion because of a fear that they will be removed from the activity, or jeopardize their status on a team or in a game. But it is important to consider the permanent repercussions of a concussion. Without proper management, a concussion can result in permanent problems and even death. Concussion should be suspected in the presence of any one or more of the following symptoms and signs:
Thinking Problems: does not know time, date, place, own name, class, type of activity in which he/she was participating, score of the game, general confusion, cannot remember things that happened before and after the injury, knocked out
Student’s Complaints: headache dizziness feels dazed feels “dinged” or stunned “having my bell rung” see stars, flashing lights ringing in the ears sleepiness loss of vision sees double or blurry
Other Problems: poor coordination or balance, blank stare/glassy-eyed, vomiting, slurred speech, slow to answer questions or follow directions, easily distracted, poor concentration, strange or inappropriate emotions (e.g., laughing, crying, getting mad easily), stomach ache/pain/nausea, not playing as well
Note: All students need to consult a physician after a suspected concussion. A student who has suffered a physician-diagnosed concussion outside of school time must be diagnosed as symptom-free by a physician before returning to activity.