Strategies to Prevent ConcussionsThe New York State Education Department (SED) and the New York State Department of Health (DOH) recommend that a specific list of preventive strategies be appended to the board policy. The Clarence School District recommends the following strategies to minimize the risk of head injuries within the school setting and during all school sponsored events.
1. All physical education teachers, school nurses, coaches, and the athletic trainer will undergo biennial training in the recognition of concussion symptoms and in the appropriate approach to managing such injuries once recognized.
2. Appropriate educational material will be sent home with the athletic permission slip as well as reviewed at preseason athletic meetings.
3. Within the general school environment the following measures will be followed;
a. The physical design of facilities and their safety plans will be evaluated to identify potential risks for falls and other injuries.
b. Appropriate rules of decorum should be followed within hallways, cafeterias, and other traffic areas to minimize potential accidents.
c. All playground equipment should be in good repair, with play surfaces composed of approved child safety materials.
4. Recess should include adult supervision.
5. Within the PE program the following measures will be followed:
a. Physical education programs should include plans that emphasize safe practices. Lessons on the need for safety equipment should be taught, along with the correct use of such equipment.
b. Rules of play should be reviewed and emphasized before all physical activity is commenced and should be enforced throughout.
c. Instruction in PE and on the athletic field should include lessons on sportsmanship, defining unsportsmanlike conduct, and enforcing penalties for deliberate violations.
6. Within the athletic program the following measures will be followed:
a. Players should be proactively instructed on sport-specific safe body alignment and be encouraged to be aware of their surroundings.
b. The AD will ensure that coaches are instructing student athletes to refrain from initiating contact with their head or to the head of another player.
c. The AD will ensure that athletic venues are prepared as safely as possible (team benches sufficiently far from the playing field to be safe, for example) and appropriate safety equipment is used. He will ensure that all interscholastic athletic competition rules are followed and rules of sportsmanship are enforced.