Concussion Prevention Made a Top Priority

I’deyah Ricketts No matter what sport or physical activity you participate in, you’ve probably been told about the danger of concussions. With a concussion, you can be benched from a sport for months, taking time to recover and regain stability. As concussions are becoming increasingly prevalent in the Latin community, what steps are we taking to prevent them from happening? “We love brains at Latin and we need to protect our students’ brains” is the tagline Lower School gym teacher Ms. Johnson stands by. The recent influx in concussions has led Ms. Johnson and her board members to consider their long-term effect: specifically, that concussions can lead to brain damage. “Research is developing so quickly that nobody’s really sure what happens to the brain when there is an impact on it,” said Johnson. “We’re trying to be on the cutting edge instead of waiting on the research.” Latin’s way of being on the “cutting edge” is to implement the King Devick Test, a baseline test taken by students that allows them to track their results and refer back to in the threat of a concussion; if they retake the test and there is a drastic difference in results, they are diagnosed with a concussion. Ms. Johnson feels that this new baseline test and partnership with a concussion foundation is the next step to rework the concussion policy. Aside from the baseline test, Ms. Johnson encourages athletes to speak up for each other if they see a threat of a concussion. “If you were concussed, you probably wouldn’t know–your judgement could be not right– but your teammate knows exactly what happened. For a teammate to be proactive by speaking up and telling a coach or adult is the best way you can prevent concussions.” Latin students participated in Speak Up, a movement to ensure that they would report to an adult if they see that their teammate may be concussed. In the end, Ms. Johnson drew attention to the committee she is working with, as she feels that the 23 faculty members are working very hard to educate others on the importance of concussion prevention. “It’s a great committee because there’s so many different people on it, yet we all are making an effort to prevent concussions.” The new concussion policy will roll out to parents in the spring of 2016 and Latin is excited to see the impact of this board on concussion prevention overall.]]>