Word of the Month for July - Cooperation
August 4, 2014
Board of Education Meeting
Golding Middle School Library at 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 18, 2011
C-RCS Athletic Department ahead of new concussion law
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill in September that will require students who may have suffered a concussion in a school sport or gym class to be sidelined for at least 24 hours.
The concussion legislation, which will take effect July 1, 2012, seeks to end the practice of having children "play through" their injuries and to raise awareness about the potential harmful effects of head trauma.
But here at Cobleskill-Richmondville, the coaches and staff are ahead of the game.
Concussion symptoms can include memory problems, difficulty concentrating, headaches, dizziness and vomiting. The legislation will prevent students from returning to play until they have been without symptoms for at least one day and have been cleared by a physician. It also requires education and training for coaches, teachers and other school personnel on the symptoms and treatment of mild traumatic brain injuries.
At C-RCS, Athletic Director Dale Wotherspoon as well as the district’s coaches and athletics staff have been attending concussion workshops given by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association for about seven years. For the past three years, each coach’s medical kit contains a pamphlet on head trauma. The staff also receives many educational materials, including a concussion checklist and have watched an educational DVD on the subject.
“Our staff is well versed in concussions and up-to-date,” Wotherspoon said. “While they can’t make a diagnosis, they know the signs and what to look for.”
C-RCS has also established a Concussion and Emergency Management Team that is made up of Wotherspoon, the school nurse, the athletic trainer and a neurologist from Bassett Healthcare Network, and representatives from Cobleskill, Richmondville and Summit’s Rescue Squads. The group has even held a mock drill on the high school football field.
They are also working to educate the parents of players.
For the last two years at Meet the Coaches Night, coaches passed out a fact sheet on head trauma and discussed the issue with parents.
“It’s important to have the information out there for parents,” Wotherspoon said. “They are the ones who see kids after games and on weekends.”
The legislation will require the state Education and Health departments to develop guidelines for recognizing and monitoring concussions, and protocols for removing students from play and clearing them to return.
Currently at C-RCS, a player is allowed to return when he or she is symptom-free.
“There is no set timeline for how long a player may be out,” Wotherspoon said.
Wotherspoon already has a draft policy proposal in the works that marries current practices with the new legislation, which he will present to the school board for adoption before the law goes into affect next summer.
"By raising awareness to the risks of mild traumatic brain injuries, we are protecting students across New York and ensuring that their health and safety is our top priority," Cuomo said in a statement.
The NFL, which has cracked down on helmet-to-helmet hits, is one of the organizations backing the bill. The league strengthened regulations on removing athletes who suffer concussions from the field. Other groups that support it are the New York State Athletic Trainers' Association and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. The Brain Injury Association of New York State has said the bill is a good "first step" in recognizing the potential harm concussions can cause and raising public awareness.
For more information on concussions, visit:
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