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Concussion Safety Requirements for Interscholastic Athletic Competition


ItemDescription
Policy TitleConcussion Safety Requirements for Interscholastic Athletic Competition
Policy CategoryAthletics (ATHL)
Policy IDATHL-003
Policy Date2015-07-09
Previous Policy Dates07/21/2011

Formerly HRS-D-003


  1. For purposes of this rule, concussion is defined as a traumatic brain injury caused by a direct or indirect impact to the head that results in disruption of normal brain function, which may or may not result in loss of consciousness.
  2. All coaches, school nurses, athletic directors, first responders, volunteers, students who participate in middle or high school interscholastic athletic activities, and the parents or guardians of those students shall receive, on an annual basis, a concussion and head injury information sheet.
    1. The information sheet must include:
      1. The definitions and symptoms of concussions and head injuries;
      2. A description of the physiology and the potential short‑term and long‑term effects of concussions and other head injuries;
      3. The medical return‑to‑play protocol for post concussion participation in interscholastic athletic activities; and
      4. Any other information deemed necessary by the local board of education.
    2. School employees, first responders, volunteers, and students must sign the sheet and return it to the coach before participating in interscholastic athletic activities, including tryouts, practices, or competition.
    3. Parents must sign the information sheet and return it to the coach before a child may participate in any such interscholastic athletic activities. The signed sheets shall be maintained in accordance with subsection (f).
  3. If a student participating in a middle or high school interscholastic athletic activity exhibits signs or symptoms consistent with concussion, the student shall be removed from the activity at that time and shall not be allowed to return to play or practice that day.
  4. A student removed from play for exhibiting signs or symptoms consistent with concussion shall not return to play or practice on a subsequent day until the student is evaluated by and receives written clearance for such participation from one of the following:
    1. A physician licensed under Article 1 of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes with training in concussion management;
    2. A neuropsychologist licensed under Article 18A of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes with training in concussion management and working in consultation with a physician licensed under Article 1 of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes;
    3. An athletic trainer licensed under Article 34 of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes;
    4. A physician assistant, consistent with the limitations of G.S. 90-18.1; or
    5. A nurse practitioner, consistent with the limitations of G.S. 90-18.2.
  5. Each school shall develop a venue-specific emergency action plan to deal with serious injuries and acute medical conditions in which the condition of the patient may deteriorate rapidly.
    1. This plan must be:
      1. In writing;
      2. Reviewed by an athletic trainer licensed in North Carolina;
      3. Approved by the principal of the school;
      4. Distributed to all appropriate personnel;
      5. Posted conspicuously for community and parental awareness at all athletic-sponsored venues; and
      6. Reviewed and rehearsed annually by all licensed athletic trainers, first responders, coaches, school nurses, athletic directors, and volunteers for interscholastic athletic activities.
    2. The plan shall include:
      1. A delineation of roles;
      2. Methods of communication;
      3. Available emergency equipment; and
      4. Access to and plan for emergency transport.
  6. Each school shall maintain complete and accurate records of its compliance with the requirements of this subdivision pertaining to head injuries.
  7. The State Board of Education authorizes the NCHSAA to apply and enforce this rule.

 History Note:  Authority G.S. 115C-121(23); S.L. 2011-147;

                        N.C. Constitution, Article IX, Sec. 5;

                        Eff. July 21, 2011.

 

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