Dublin Villager

District has procedure to address concussions

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

During the fall sports season at Dublin City Schools, 79 student athletes suffered from concussions.

Concussions account for about 15 percent of student athlete injuries, but the district has plans in place to identify, treat and return students to the classroom and sport.

A committee last week outlined the plan for Dublin City School District Board of Education members.

According to Assistant Superintendent Michael Trego, a committee has been meeting for the past few months to look at the best practices of high schools when it comes to concussions and mulling over studies regarding middle school students and concussions.

"We passed in August a new policy about this," Trego said.

"It mimics what is put out by the Ohio Department of Health," he said, adding that both parents and student athletes are given information about concussions to read and sign.

Jerome High School Athletic Trainer Ric Fail said for students athletes dealing with concussions is a four step process:

* Recognizing a concussion.

* Removing a student from the sport and referring them to a medical doctor

* Returning the student to the classroom.

* Returning the student to the sport.

Although the plans share the same steps, each is different and based on student needs, he said.

Coaches receive training about concussions each year and Dublin's policy follows state law, Fail said.

If a coach believes a student has a concussion, they must immediately pull the student from play, Fail said.

After a visit to the doctor, a student may need as much as 24 to 48 hours of cognitive rest, which means no computers, texting or driving, he said.

Students can return to school part time and academic recovery plans are available to catch students up on any work they might have missed, Fail said.

Once a student returns to full-time academics with no further symptoms, they can start a slow return to athletics.

"When it's time to return, students must have all symptoms resolved," Fail said.

For fall sports, football saw the largest number of concussions.

Fail said of the more than 500 injuries reported by student athletes during the fall season, 70 were concussions and of those, 47 were from football.

"One concussion is too many," he said, "but it is 15 percent of what we deal with."

Soccer also sees a fair amount of concussions, although this year boys soccer has seen more concussions than girls, which was reversed in previous years, Fail said.

Jay Schwanke, athletic director at Sells Middle School, said stud-ents are also educated about concussions as well as risk prevention techniques such as using equipment properly and utilizing the buddy system.