School Board Codifies Improved Concussion Policy

A school board in Portsmouth, New Hampshire codified a new concussion policy, which requires, among other things, that the school district distribute head injury and concussion information to all parents and guardians of student-athletes before the first practice or game of a new season.

The policy also requires that the athletic director review any changes in procedures required for concussions and adopt those changes for the upcoming school year, ensuring the district implements the latest accepted practices for handling head injuries.

In addition, the policy states that any time a coach or other official suspects a student athlete has received a concussion, he or she must immediately remove the student from the game. The student will not be able to return to the game or practice on the same day and/or until he or she is evaluated by a health care provider and receives medical clearance. The existing policy requires student athletes to sit a minimum of five days before he or she can return to play, and only then with a signed permission from parents, a doctor, and athletic trainer.

Finally, coaches, including volunteers, must undertake ongoing training as recommended by the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association, Department of Education and any other relevant organizations.

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