Franklin Regional board scheduled to vote on concussion policy
By Doug Gulasy
Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 7:14 p.m.
Franklin Regional school directors will likely vote next month on a formal athletic concussion policy, though it won't change much about how the district handles the injury.
The new policy was read at the board meeting May 20. A formal vote is scheduled for next month.
The Safety in Youth Sports Act, which went into effect in Pennsylvania in July 2012, requires school districts to review and revise safety policies related to concussions and traumatic brain injuries in athletes. Franklin Regional athletic trainer Jim Rossi said while the district doesn't currently have a policy on concussions, an informal one already exists.
“Is it really going to change anything that we do from a day-to-day standpoint? Not really,” Rossi said. “It's things that we've done for the last few years anyhow. It's just that now from a school district standpoint, there is a policy in place that says this is what we do in the event of a student (getting) a concussion and here's the criteria that they have to go over or pass before getting back on the field of play.”
Under the proposed policy, any student who exhibits signs or symptoms of a concussion or other traumatic brain injury while participating in an athletic activity will be removed by a coach immediately.
“If they have X, Y and Z symptoms, I think most prudent medical people would err on the side of caution, especially at the high school level,” Rossi said.
The student is not permitted to return to action until he or she is cleared by an “appropriate medical professional,” which includes licensed physicians, licensed or certified health care professionals or a licensed neuropsychologist. Clearance must be given in writing.
Rossi said the proposed district policy closely follows the Safety in Youth Sports Act.
“They almost mirror each other,” he said.
Additionally, coaches must complete a concussion management certification training course offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Federation of State High School Associations or another provider approved by the Department of Health each year before coaching a sport.
Students and their parents/guardians must review the Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury Information Sheet each year and confirm their review by signature, and the district has the potential to hold an informational meeting about concussions and other head injuries before each season.
Rossi said Franklin Regional currently administers the ImPACT Test every other year to establish a baseline of brain functionality for all athletes. When an athlete suffers a potential head injury, baseline testing can help to determine when he or she can return to action.
“Once you establish a baseline, the majority of testing after that — if there is any testing after that — it's mainly in the event that something's happened,” Rossi said.
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 15 spills illegally discharge sewage into Murrysville’s Turtle Creek
- State awards $457K grant for trail in Murrysville area
- Grant denial might delay Heritage Trail expansion project
- Delmont to decide next month on Speedway’s future
- Westmoreland authority: Water with chlorine odor is safe
- Charges filed in fatal Murrysville crash