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NEWS & EVENTS


Concussion in underage players 5yrs-18yrs

WHAT IS IT?
A concussion is a brain injury that is associated with a temporary loss of brain function. The injury must be taken seriously to protect the long term welfare of all players. A concussion is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Most concussion injuries occur without a loss of consciousness and so it is important to recognise the other signs and symptoms of concussion. Some symptoms develop immediately while other symptoms may appear gradually over time.

 Loss of consciousness  Headache
 Seizure or convulsion
 Dizziness  Balance problems  Confusion
 Nausea or vomiting
 Feeling slowed down  Drowsiness  “Pressure in head”
 More emotional
 Blurred vision  Irritability  Sensitivity to light
 Sadness
 Amnesia  Fatigue or low energy  Feeling like “in a fog“
 Nervous or anxious
 Neck Pain  “Don’t feel right”  Sensitivity to noise
 Difficulty remembering
 Difficulty concentrating
“Presence of any one or more of the above signs and symptoms may suggest a concussion”

ACTION PLAN
Recognise – The signs and symptoms
Report – Don’t hide any symptoms
Rehab – Rest / Take time to recover fully / Seek medical advice
Return – Follow a step-wise GRTP and don’t return without your doctor’s clearance

DANGERS
A player’s brain needs time to heal after a concussion. When a player’s brain is still healing, it is more likely to receive another concussion. Repeat concussions can increase the time it takes to recover and in rare cases, repeat concussions in young players can result in brain swelling or permanent damage to their brain. They can even be fatal.

COPING
The following are some tips for coping with a concussion:
Rest
The best medical management for concussion is rest (Cognitive and Physical). Players often feel tired and may experience difficulties at work or school when carrying at task which require concentration. You may also encounter mood difficulties and feel depressed, anxious or irritable with family or team mates. Support should be provided to players during this recovery period.

CONCUSSION
INFORMATION SHEET FOR YOUNG PLAYERS (Age 5 -18 years old)

http://www.gaa.ie/medical-and-player-welfare

Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol should be avoided as it may delay recovery and put you at increased risk for further injury.
Prescribed Medications
When dealing with persistent symptoms, it is essential that you only take medications prescribed by your doctor.
Patience
Recovery form concussion should not be rushed nor pressure applied to players to resume playing until recovery is complete. The risk of re injury is high and may lead to recurrent concussion injuries which can cause long term damage.

RETURN TO PLAY
If diagnosed with concussion you should NEVER return to play on the day of injury. Return to play must follow a medically supervised stepwise approach and you MUST NEVER return to play whilst symptoms persist.
GRADUAL RETURN TO PLAY PROTOCOL
1. There should be an initial period of two weeks rest for players aged 5 to 18 after a concussion.
2. RTP Protocols following concussion follow a stepwise approach. You should continue to proceed to the next level if no symptoms persist at the current level.
3. Generally each step should take 24 hours so you would take approximately one week to proceed to full rehabilitation once you have no symptoms at rest.
4. If any post-concussion symptoms occur while in the RTP program, you should drop back to the previous asymptomatic level and try to
progress again after a further 24 hours period of rest has passed.
5. Clearance from a medical doctor is required prior to return to full contact sports.
Table 1 Gradual Return to Play Protocol Rehabilitation Stage Functional exercise at stage Objective of stage
1. No Activity
Physical and Cognitive Rest
Recovery
2. Light Activity
Walking, swimming, cycling, keeping intensity <70% maximum permitted heart rate
Increase HR
3. Sports Specific Exercise
Running drills,
Add Movement
4. No Contact Training Drills
Progress to more complex training drills - passing drills, progressive resistance training
5. Full Contact Practice
Following medical clearance, participate in normal training activities.
Exercise, coordination and cognitive load
6. Return to play
Normal game play
Restore confidence and assess functional skills by coaching staff
OTHER RESOURCES
 CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES 2013-2016
 POSTER
 E-LEARNING COURSE ON CONCUSSION AWARENESS
To access these resources, please visit – learning.gaa.ie/player
For more information on concussions visit www.concussion.ie or www.gaa.ie/returntoplay



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