Athletes Given Baseline Tests For Concussion Safety 6/20/13
June 20, 2013
Garden City - When it comes to high school sports, safety is the number one thing on every parents mind. Now one school district is hoping to eliminate some of that concern and take the guesswork out of diagnosing a concussion.
Garden City ISD Athletics is providing all basketball and football athletes with baseline tests before the season starts as an easier way to determine if the student has a concussion after receiving a blow to the head.
“When you’re dealing with head injuries, that’s something that kind of strikes a little fear with parents,” said GCISD Athletic Director Matt Odom.
So when the school district found out they could more accurately diagnose a concussion by using impact testing, they started right away. “It keeps the kids safer, helps us diagnose concussions a little bit more clearly and help them get back to playing in a quicker time,” said Odom.
These tests will check the students’ reaction times as well as mental and visual memory.
Before the baseline tests, when an athlete was hit coaches had to make their judgment call on whether or not a concussion exists, but with these tests the guesswork is taken out.
“If an athlete we think has a concussion, we can look at their baseline tests, have them take another one, and it will show where they are, as to where they were normally,” said Odom.
UIL has plenty of concussion management protocol requirements, and even after a concussion has been reported the athlete must submit a return to play form. With the baseline tests Odom says athletes will be able to return to the game quicker, which is something both athlete and coach aims to do.
“If you take proactive measures like this, you know get your baseline testing done and show that you are concerned and that you’re trying to do things right, I think it puts a lot of people’s minds at ease,” said Odom.
ECISD officials also report to be using baseline testing for their athletes in a variety of sports like football, gymnastics and soccer.