MSYSA has taken a firm stance on youth participant concussions. All MSYSA member leagues should be aware of the symptoms and signs of a concussion as well as preventive measures and return to play procedures. By June 30th 2013, all MSYSA member leagues/clubs must be in compliance with Michigan Public Acts 342 and 343 of 2012. These acts require all youth athletic participants to sign a form acknowledging they have received concussion education materials. Youth coaches must also complete an online concussion training program (see Required Materials For MSYSA Leagues below).
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a brain injury or trauma caused by a hit or blow to the head. Concussions can range from mild to severe and can occur even if the athlete doesn't lose consciousness. If untreated, concussions in youth athletes can change the way their brain works and can lead to long-term developmental problems including permanent brain damage.
Symptoms and Signs of a possible concussion in youth players:
- Blurry, fuzzy, or double vision
- Sensitivity to light and/or noise
- Concentration problems or memory lose
- Feeling sluggish
- Balance and dexterity problems or dizziness
- Slurred speech
- Vomiting or weak stomach
- General confusion
Recommended Return to Play Procedures/Tips:
If a player is suspected of having a concussion, they NEED to seek medical attention immediately.
- Youth participants should be kept out of all athletic activities (including practice) when a concussion is suspected/diagnosed. While the brain is healing from a trauma, athletes are significantly more likely to receive a second concussion if they begin athletic activity too soon.
- Keep possibly concussed athletes away from any cognitive activities that require concentration or intense focus. Activities such as video games, computer work, cell phone games, lengthy TV watching, should be all avoided.
- Do not give any medication to an athlete who is suspected of having a concussion unless it was previously prescribed or authorized by a physician after the trauma.
- The State of Michigan, US Youth Soccer, and MSYSA mandate that no youth athlete be permitted to return to competition (games or practice) until they are cleared by a physician.
Required Materials For MSYSA Member Leagues
Parent/Athlete Acknowledgement Form: Required for all MSYSA players and to be kept on file by the club/league for the duration of their youth participation.
Heads-Up Concussion Training Video: Required for all MSYSA coaches and trainers.
Player Medical Clearance to Return to Play: Required form to be filled out by a Health Professional when a player has been removed from play due to concussion like symptoms.
More Information and Helpful Links:
Information courtesy of the Michigan Department of Community Health, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) and US Youth Soccer