Concussion Policy

LPHS Concussion Policy

In recent years, there has been a significant amount of research into sports-related concussions in high school athletes. In the event a student athlete suffers a head injury, the following protocol is in place for the Certified Athletic Trainers (ATCs) to evaluate the student athlete on the sideline of the event (practice or game) to determine if the student athlete has suffered a concussion.
If there is suspicion that an athlete has sustained a concussion, by LAW, they will be removed from play for the remainder of the day.  They must receive written clearance from an ATC or physician before returning to their sport.

If a certified athletic trainer is not present when the injury occurs, the Coach is responsible for contacting one of the members of the Sports Medicine Staff so the athlete can be evaluated as soon as possible.  If it is an emergency the athlete should be taken to the nearest emergency room to be evaluated.

This protocol was developed by using the 2014 National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Management of a Sport Concussion, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Protocol for Implementation of the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) Sports Playing Rule for Concussions, Youth Sports Concussion Act, La Salle Peru Township High School concussion policy and information from the Center of Disease Control (CDC).

This protocol will be reviewed on a yearly basis, by the La Salle Peru Township High School (LPHS) sports medicine staff. Any changes or modifications will be reviewed and given to the athletic department staff and appropriate school personnel in writing.

According to the Youth Sports Concussion Safety Act:
• Any student suspected of suffering a concussion MUST BE removed from the game, practice, or activity immediately. No student may return to activity that day after an apparent head injury or concussion regardless of how mild it seems or how quickly symptoms clear. Close observation of the student should continue for several hours.
• Students must provide the school with written clearance from a licensed healthcare professional prior to returning to play or practice following a concussion or after being removed from an interscholastic contest due to a possible head injury or concussion and not cleared to return to that same contest.

For additional information on brain injuries, click here for details from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Return-to-Play Protocol

In order to “Return to Play” following a concussion the following must be completed:
• Have written clearance from a licensed healthcare professional along with having completed RTP
concussion protocol which includes graded exercises without return of symptoms.
• Parent/guardian and student must sign Post-concussion Consent Form (RTP/RTL).

  1. Return to play after concussion – ASYMPTOMATIC 24 hours post-injury
    • The student must be asymptomatic at rest within 24 hours of injury.
    • The student must be asymptomatic with exertion.
    • Graded exercises will begin if the student is asymptomatic 24 hrs post-injury. If symptoms return during any step of graded exercises, exercises will be discontinued and student will be referred to a physician, APN, or PA unless the parents/guardians of the student refuse to see a physician, APN, or PA.  If the parents refuse to take their student to a physician, APN, or PA they will need to sign a refusal waiver and then an athletic trainer will re-evaluate the student and determine next steps.
    • The following must be completed prior to final clearance:
      • Have written clearance from a physician, ATC, APN, and/or PA along with having completed RTP concussion protocol which includes graded exercises without return of symptoms.
      • Parent/guardian and student must sign Post-concussion Consent Form (RTP/RTL).
  2. Return to play after concussion- SYMPTOMATIC 24 hours post-injury
    • The student must meet all of the following criteria in order to progress to activity:
      • If student is symptomatic 24 hours post injury they will be required to see a licensed healthcare professional other than a Certified Athletic Trainer.
      • If student has taken the ImPACT baseline, a Post-injury ImPACT test will be administered 48-72 hours post injury. (Dependent on time frame of notification of concussion symptoms to Athletic Trainer. Also dependent on LHCP request.)
      • Once student is symptom free at rest they must remain asymptomatic at rest for 24 hours.
      • Once asymptomatic for 24 hours they may begin exertional activities.
      • Each step of graded exercises will take place approximately 24 hours following the previous step.
      • If symptoms return during any step of graded exercises, a 24 hour period of rest is required before repeating that step. If step is repeated 24 hours later and symptoms again return, the student is required to be re-evaluated by a physician, APN, or PA unless the parents/guardians of the student refuse to see a physician, APN, or PA. If the parents refuse to take their student to a physician, APN, or PA they will need to sign a refusal waiver and then an athletic trainer will re-evaluate the student and determine next steps.
    • The following must be completed prior to final clearance:
      • Test within normal range of baseline on post-concussion ImPACT testing. (Unless otherwise stated by physician, APN, or PA)
      • Have written clearance from a physician, ATC, APN, and/or PA along with having completed RTP concussion protocol.
      • Parent/guardian and student must sign Post-concussion Consent Form (RTP/RTL).
  3. Graded Exercises (supervised by ATC): will follow a 5 step process each step being approximately 24 hours following previous step.
    • Light aerobic exercises (approx. 20 min)- walking, stationary bike, elliptical, balance training.
    • Sport-specific training (approx. 30min) – jogging/running, light to moderate weight training and resistance training.
    • Non-contact practice and conditioning drills once neurocognitive post-test composite scores are near or return to baseline. (approx. 45 min)
    • Full-contact practice. Student is able to participate in unrestricted, live scrimmage drills after medical clearance. (approx. 60 min of activity and MUST include contact activities)
    • Full game/ competition play.
  4. Progression is individualized and will be determined on a case by case basis. Factors that may affect the rate of progression include: previous history of concussion, duration and type of symptoms, age of the student, amount and severity of red flags on post-injury ImPACT, and sport/activity in which the student participates. If symptoms return during any step, a 24 hour period of rest is required before repeating that step. If symptoms persist with exercise the student will be required to be re-evaluated by a physician, APN, or PA.

Additional Resources

A concussion is a brain injury. Concussions occur from forces applied directly or indirectly to the skull that result in the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the brain. All concussions are SERIOUS. Click here for Home instructions for parents and concussed students.

Click here to download the Post-Concussion Consent Form.
Click here to download the Student Medical Information Release Form.
Click here to view the LPHS Student Handbook for additional information.