Concussion is a common injury in athletes at the middle school and high school level. Recently, new regulations regarding the evaluation and treatment of concussions have been adopted by the Florida High School Athletic Association. The regulations include criteria regarding clearing athletes for return to play after they experience a concussion.

Once a player is suspected of having a concussion and has been removed from the practice or game, the athlete cannot return to play until he or she has been cleared by a health-care professional. This is defined as an M.D., D.O, or Health Care Professional trained in the management of Concussions. As the Athlete’s Physician, you will be asked to provide written clearance for these athletes to return to play. Approximately 90-95% of all athletes who suffer a concussion have a rapid resolution of symptoms. However, a small proportion of these athletes will have ongoing problems and will need a more detailed neurological evaluation.

In an effort to provide the necessary care, the Child Neurology Center of Northwest Florida will be making time available each week to ensure rapid evaluation of young athletes with persistent or complex post-concussive symptoms.

Common Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion (Heads up CDC)

 Signs observed:

  • Appears to be dazed or stunned
  • Is confused about assignment
  • Forgets plays
  • Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
  • Moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness (even temporarily)
  • Shows behavior or personality change
  • Forgets events prior to hit (retrograde amnesia)
  • Forgets events after hit (anterograde amnesia)

Signs reported by athlete:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or fuzzy vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish
  • Feeling "foggy"
  • Change in sleep pattern
  • Concentration or memory problems

External Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Concussion in Sports

Erlanger Resources

Pediatric Neurology