Head Injury Recognition
Although the formal diagnosis of concussion should be made following a medical assessment, all sport stakeholders, including athletes, parents, coaches, officials, teachers, trainers, and licensed healthcare professionals are responsible for the recognition and reporting of athletes who demonstrate visual signs of a head injury or who report concussion symptoms. This is particularly important because many training and competition venues will not have access to on-site licensed healthcare professionals. Early identification of a suspected concussion is important to properly manage a suspected concussion.
Identification of Suspected Concussion
A concussion should be suspected in any athlete who sustains a significant impact to the head, face, neck or body and demonstrates ANY of the visual signs of a suspected concussion or reports ANY symptoms of a suspected concussion as detailed in the Concussion Recognition Tool 5 (CRT5). A concussion should also be suspected if a player reports ANY concussion symptoms to one of their peers, parents, teachers, or coaches or if anyone witnesses an athlete exhibiting any of the visual signs of concussion.
In some cases, an athlete may demonstrate signs or symptoms of a more severe head or spine injury including convulsions, worsening headaches, vomiting or neck pain. If an athlete demonstrates any of the “Red Flags” indicated in the CRT5, a more severe head or spine injury should be suspected, and Emergency Medical Assessment should be pursued.
Freestyle Canada the Concussion Action Plan (CAP) will be available and implemented at all Freestyle Canada sanctioned activities and events in case of a concussion or suspected concussion.
The Concussion Action Plan (CAP) outlines a general set of steps that will allow proper care for athletes when a suspected concussion occurs and will provide appropriate direction to all individuals.
The CAP will include:
- Actions to take when a concussion is suspected following an incident.
- Defining who has the authority to determine if a suspected concussion has occurred.
- Defining the authority to prohibit an individual from continuing to train or compete in a Freestyle Canada sanctioned activity.
- Outlining the necessary steps to inform the individual’s coach and parents (or guardians).
- Defining the steps to inform Freestyle Canada.
- Defining the necessary steps to seek medical care following a suspected concussion.
Documentation of Incident
Tracking the incidence of suspected concussion is a key component of the Freestyle Canada concussion policy.
Freestyle Canada will use the Freestyle Canada Accident Report to record the details of the incident to the National Sport Organization. The accident report will record the date, time, location, weather conditions, course conditions and describe the mechanics of the incident.
The Freestyle Canada Accident Report will be submitted to the NSO by the proper authority. If the incident occurs during training, the Coach will be required to submit the Freestyle Canada Accident Report within 48 hours of the incident. If the incident occurs during a competition, the Technical Delegate (or Event Organizer) will submit the Freestyle Canada Accident Report within 48 hours of the incident.
Freestyle Canada will follow up with the individual to determine if a physician has diagnosed concussion and request that a formal note from the physician be provided to Freestyle Canada.