A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that is caused by a bump, blow or whiplash force to the head causing the brain to shake. This is a functional injury, not structural so it cannot be seen on a MRI/CT scan. Symptoms could include but are not limited to headache, dizziness, balance issues, as well as sensitivity to lights and noise or emotional symptoms.

In December 2011, The General Assembly of PA passed the Safe in Youth Sports Act that established "standards for managing concussions and traumatic brain injuries for student athletes". This act was effective as of July 1, 2012. Our protocol at North Penn High School is designed to follow these legislative guidelines and outline the procedures following an injury to an athletes brain. These procedures are to help insure that injured athletes are identified, treated appropriately by an appropriate medical professional, and are fully recovered prior to returning to play.

If your child is experiencing any signs and symptoms after a head injury, they should seek medical attention. Any athlete that is experiencing concussion symptoms will be evaluated by the athletic trainer. If the athletic trainer finds symptoms indicative of a concussion, the athlete will be referred to the doctor and will not be able to return until they are cleared. When an athlete suffers from a head injury, we will take them through a series of neurocognitive tests. A SCAT 5 test can be performed immediately on the sideline or in the athletic training room. The SCAT 5 tests for general cognitive functions, such as memory, orientation and balance. It also offers a standardized symptoms evaluation that we can continue to utilize through your child's treatment. The athlete should check in to the athletic training room every day to go through the daily symptom evaluation.

After your child has been diagnosed with a concussion, the health suite staff should be notified of the injury. The athletic training staff will also need a copy of the doctors note. If your child requires any academic accommodations, his/her physician should note that as well.

Once your child is no longer experiencing concussion symptoms, and they are cleared by the doctor to return to sports, they must complete the Return to Play. For more information on this, please see the "Return to Play" tab of the athletics page.

If you have any questions, feel free to call the Athletic Training Room at 215-853-1324.