| Monday, March 20, 2017
USA Swimming acknowledges the growing concern around concussions and in an effort to take a proactive position regarding concussion management and ensuring the safety of our membership, has developed a Consensus Statement on Concussion Management with guidelines around the identification and management of concussions at the club and LSC level, as well as during competitions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define concussion as “a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be mild bump or blow to the head can be serious”. It is important that our participants, parents, coaches, volunteers, and staff are aware of the seriousness of head injuries at any level.
Clubs, LSCs, and Hosts are responsible for compliance with state laws regarding concussion management and education. Each state may have specific regulations that impact your club, coaches, officials, and/or events. Check the state laws and policies that apply to you.
All coaches should familiarize themselves with the signs and symptoms of concussions and share the information with their coaching staff, athletes, and parents. Ensure the membership is aware that USA Swimming provides members an excess accident medical insurance policy through Mutual of Omaha. This policy is excess to a member’s personal medical insurance coverage while participating in an USA Swimming sanctioned, sponsored, or approved event, including practice. The policy becomes primary if the member has no medical insurance coverage with a $100 deductible. No potential concussion should go untreated for lack of or limited medical insurance coverage.
Look for additional materials as they become available at usaswimming.org, to help you understand and manage this risk. If you have any questions or concerns regarding USA Swimming’s Concussion Management Guidelines contact George Ward, USA Swimming Risk Manager.
Signs and symptoms of concussions provided by the CDC include, but are not limited to:
Signs Observed by Coaching Staff
• Appears dazed or stunned
• Is confused about assignment or position
• Forgets an instruction
• Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
• Moves clumsily
• Answers questions slowly
• Loses consciousness (even briefly)
• Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes
• Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall
• Can’t recall events after hit or fall
Symptoms Reported by Athlete
• Headache or “pressure” in head
• Nausea or vomiting
• Balance problems or dizziness
• Double or blurry vision
• Sensitivity to light
• Sensitivity to noise
• Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
• Concentration or memory problems
• Does not “feel right” or is “feeling down”