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Concussion Information for Parents

As more research into concussion diagnosis and treatment is done, it is becoming increasingly obvious that there are potentially harmful long-term repercussions related to this injury. Washington state was the first state to pass concussion legislation but more and more legislatures are turning their attention to the health and safety of our children and recognizing that this is a serious issue that must be addressed before it is too late. The club is of the opinion that concussions must be taken extremely seriously to safe guard the long term welfare of our Players. We have compiled some information to help bring our parents up to speed on the effects of this new legislation, and the proactive steps the club is taking to ensure this serious issue is addressed with appropriate diligence and care.

What Parents Need to Know

Legislation

The Oregon Senate Bill 721 went into effect January 1, 2014; the law dictates that all youth sports coaches and officials must be trained to identify signs of possible concussion and are mandated to remove children from play if the child displays any of these signs. There are training requirements for coaches and officials and legally mandated suspensions for anyone found in violation of the statute.

What the Law Means For Eastside

Players suspected of having a concussion or head injury must be removed from play and must not resume play in the match or training that same day; players suspected of having concussion must be assessed by a medical professional and receive a written clearance before returning to training or games. This means that any time a player displays ANY sign of concussion they will not return to play that day - no exceptions. Any player removed from play should seek an evaluation by a medical professional and must receive a written return to play clearance before resuming any Eastside Timbers activities.

Your Role as Parents

As a parent your primary concern should be the health and safety of your child. No practice or game is worth risking a child's long-term health. Unfortunately coaches don't always see every incident during a practice or game, so if you see something involving your child happen, please speak up.


Educate yourself on what to watch for; the documents below outline symptoms of concussion. Should you observe these symptoms in your child you have every right to speak with the coach and remove your child from play.


Be patient and understanding. Symptoms of concussion can vary in onset and intensity, taking hours to occur in some cases. Your child may not feel comfortable discussing some of their symptoms, so the responsibility falls to parents to ensure symptoms are noted and their condition is dealt with appropriately.

Medical Examinations/Clearances

Any child who is suspected of having a concussion should seek an evaluation by a medical professional and be cleared to play before returning to practices or games. Be patient as your child recovers - no two brains are alike and individual recovery times will vary. Current medical research tells us that it is not until approximately two weeks after symptoms conclude that the brain has started to fully heal. Patience is crucial, as rushing back to play puts the athlete at increased risk of further injury and long-term damage.

Return To Play

Eastside has worled with The Portland Clinic to develop a standardized "Return To Play" (RtP) protocol that children will have to pass before returning to full participation in the club. The process for returning from concussion will potentially be time consuming, but we will require full medical clearance and symptom-free completion of the RtP steps before reintroducing a child to play.

Coaches Training

All Eastside coaches for players at the U11 level and above are required to have completed concussion awareness training before they are permitted to coach in any club activity. You can go through the same training if you wish, the CDC hosts this training program on their website. This is the minimum legal requirement, but Eastside coaches will be going through additional training later in the year from The Portland Clinic that will address the latest medical research and our strict RtP protocols.

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