Concussions occur in many sports, and the Department's AHCT program is charged with ensuring the safety of any student who may have suffered a concussion.
From the CDC: A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. Concussions are caused by a bump or blow to the head. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. You can’t see a concussion. Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after the injury or may not appear or be notice until days or weeks after the injury. If your child reports any symptoms of concussion, or if you notice the symptoms yourself, seek medical attention right away.
Physical symptoms include:
- Blurred Vision
- Poor Balance
- Sensitivity to light
- Ringing in ears
- Sensitivity to noise
- Seeing “stars”
- Vacant stare/Glassy eyed
- Neck pain
Cognitive symptoms include:
- Feeling in a “fog”
- Feel “slowed down”
- Difficulty remembering
- Difficulty concentrating/easily distracted
- Slowed speech
- Easily confused
Emotional symptoms include:
- Inappropriate emotions
- Personality change
- Feeling more “emotional”
- Lack of motivation
Disturbances to sleep/energy:
- Trouble falling asleep
Concussion Management Program
The AHCT's Concussion Management Program ensures student athletes return to athletic participation safely. It is governed by the rules and guidelines set by the
National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) and
Hawaii Law (Act 197 Relating to Concussions).
All 9th and 11th grade student athletes participating in collision and contact sports along with 10th and 12th grade student athletes participating in collision and contact sports for the first time will be administered baseline assessments (described below) which will provide the high school AHCT and the student athlete’s primary care physician with objective information to compare pre-and-post injury.
- Graded Symptom Checklist baseline assessment
- Cognitive status baseline assessment (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test (ImPACT) or Standard Assessment of Concussion (SAC))
- Postural Stability baseline assessment
After a student athlete takes the cognitive status assessments, the AHCT will collaborate with the student athlete’s physician and/or a neuropsychologist to determine if the student athlete is ready to start a Return to Activity Plan (see below). This team approach ensures the health and safety of each concussed student athlete.
Return to Activity Plan (RAP) or Return to Play (RTP)
- Step 1: Complete cognitive rest. This may include staying home from school or limiting school hours and study for several days which would be determined by a physician or AHCT and supported by school administration. Activities requiring concentration and attention may worsen symptoms and delay recovery.
- Step 2: Return to school full time. Steps 3-7 Will be supervised by the high school AHCT. (Each step is separated by a minimum of at least 24 hours.)
- Step 3: Light exercise. This step cannot begin until student athlete is cleared by the treating physician for further activity. At this point, th e student athlete may begin walking or riding a stationary bike.
- Step 4: Running in the gym or on the field.
- Step 5: Non-contact training drills in full equipment. Weight training can begin.
- Step 6: Full contact practice or training.
- Step 7: Play in game.