MOUNT VERNON — At a recent youth wrestling event in Mount Vernon, a young wrestler was lifted off his feet and dropped, forehead first, to the mat.
MEDICAL CLEARANCE RETURN-TO-PLAY PROTOCOL
1. No exertional activity until asymptomatic.
2. When the athlete appears clear, begin low-impact activity such as walking, stationary bike, etc.
3. Initiate aerobic activity fundamental to specific sport such as skating or running, and may also begin progressive strength training activities.
4. Begin non-contact skill drills specific to sport such as dribbling, fielding, batting, etc.
5. Full contact in practice setting.
6. If athlete remains asymptomatic, he or she may return to game/play.
•If, at any time, an athlete shows symptoms, they must move back a step.
In the sport, that’s a two-point takedown. But the thud was loud enough for the official to blow the whistle and stop the match.
Everybody in the gym was silent for a few seconds. Then the boy stood on his feet, stretched his neck muscles, and told the ref he was fine.
The boy was fine. But the ref did the right thing when he stopped the match.
In a few short years, the once-trite expression, “He really got his bell rung,” has nearly disappeared from the sports lexicon. It has been replaced by the word, concussion.
A concussion is a brain injury which results in a temporary disruption of normal brain function. It occurs when the brain is violently rocked back and forth or twisted inside the skull as a result of a blow to the head or body. An athlete does not have to lose consciousness (“knocked-out”) to suffer a concussion.
And it’s more common than you think.
It is estimated that over 140,000 high school athletes across the United States suffer a concussion each year, according to the National Federation of State High Schools.
Recent crackdowns in hard hits by the National Football League have brought awareness to the idea of head trauma in sports. As a result, sports programs all over the country have had to re-evaluate the way they handle sports-related head injuries.
While there has been no legislation from any state or national governing body on how schools should respond to sports-related head trauma, area schools have aggressively moved forward in modernizing their treatment of concussions. They have done so following a combination of new guidelines, education and common sense.