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Concussions in Youth Sports

Athletics and play are great ways for kids to stay healthy and gain important skills in leadership and teamwork. Unfortunately, concussions can occur in all sports and activities from any contact including bumps, blows or jolts to the head or body. It is crucial for school personnel, coaches and nurses to recognize the signs and symptoms of concussions, understand the potential consequences and prevent further injury.   

California Interscholastic Federation (CIF):  Medical science and concussion care experts have found that a concussed athlete must take a gradual and progressive, stage by stage, step by step return to practice under medical supervision to minimize risks and allow the brain to properly recover. 

A.B. 2127 and CIF Bylaws mandated a MINIMUM timeline, but medical experts recognize that many adolescent concussion patients may take much longer to recover.  Always be cautious as returning to practice and play too quickly may have catastrophic consequences. 

Center for Disease Control (CDC):  To help ensure the health and safety of young athletes, CDC developed the HEADS UP Concussion in Youth Sports initiative to offer information about concussions to coaches, parents, and athletes involved in youth sports. The HEADS UP initiative provides important information on preventing, recognizing, and responding to a concussion.  

CDC Specific Concussion Information for:

SIA Member Alerts on Concussions and Sudden Cardiac Arrest in youth sports

TRAINING

California law mandates that all coaches must receive training on concussions. The training may be fulfilled through the free, online course available through the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

CONCUSSION IN SPORTS - Online Training Program

FORMS

NEW CIF - Concussion and Head Injury Information Sheet:  The CIF Concussion Information Sheet is recommended for schools to use to comply with CIF Bylaw 503.H. – Concussion Protocol and California State Law AB 25 (Education Code § 49475).  On a yearly basis, a concussion and head injury information sheet shall be signed and returned by the athlete and the athlete's parent or guardian before the athlete's initiating practice or competition.

NEW - CIF Acute Concussion Notification Form for Parents/Guardians:  Recommended for schools to use in communicating with parents/guardians when a student-athlete displays signs and symptoms of concussion.

For additional forms and forms in Spanish, visit the CIF website.

PRINTED MATERIALS

The CIF and the CDC have developed a variety of excellent materials for educating school staff, coaches, and health professionals about concussion and traumatic brain injury.

Additional Resources:

Play it Safer

NFHS SMAC Position Statement Soft Helmets

Coaches Resources

Licensed Health Care Providers Resources

School Resources

Student and Parent/Guardian Resources