Approved:
9 Dec 2013 [Revised 1 Jun 2020]
Prior Version:
N/A
Applicability:
This policy applies to all university faculty, employees, representatives, volunteers, and students.
Policy Owner:
Advancement Vice President; Student Life Vice President
Responsible Office:
Intercollegiate Sports Athletics
Contents, Related Policies, Applicability

Approved:
9 Dec 2013 [Revised 1 Jun 2020]
Prior Version:
N/A
Applicability:
This policy applies to all university faculty, employees, representatives, volunteers, and students.
Policy Owner:
Advancement Vice President; Student Life Vice President
Responsible Office:
Intercollegiate Sports Athletics
Download a PDF of this document
Concussion and Head Injury Policy

Brigham Young University recognizes the seriousness of concussions and head injuries and takes seriously its obligation to address concussions and head injuries suffered by individuals participating in university-sponsored sports and other activities. In Utah, the Protection of Athletes with Head Injuries Act1 requires “amateur sports organizations,” which may include the university, to adopt and enforce a concussion and head injury policy.

This policy requires all campus departments to take steps to prevent and address concussions and head injuries in sports and other university activities. This policy shall be made available to all students; parents of minors participating in sports-related university programs; and university faculty members, employees, representatives, and volunteers.


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Definitions

The terms child and minor are used interchangeably in this policy and mean an individual who is under the age of 18.

Qualified health care provider means a health care provider who is licensed under Title 58 of the Utah Code and may evaluate and manage a concussion within the health care provider’s scope of practice. The qualified health care provider must have successfully completed a continuing education course in the evaluation and management of concussions within the last three years.

Sporting event means the following athletic activities that are organized, managed, or sponsored by the university: games, practices, sports camps, physical education classes, athletic competitions, and tryouts.

Traumatic head injury means an injury to the head arising from blunt trauma, an acceleration force, or a deceleration force, with one or more of the following observed or self-reported conditions attributed to the injury:

  • transient confusion, disorientation, impaired consciousness
  • dysfunction of memory
  • loss of consciousness
  • signs of other neurological or neuropsychological dysfunction, including seizures, irritability, lethargy, vomiting, headache, dizziness, or fatigue2

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Nature and Risk of Concussion and Traumatic Head Injury

A concussion is a type of traumatic head injury induced by biomechanical forces. Although concussions most commonly occur after a direct blow to the head, they can occur after a blow elsewhere on the body that is transmitted to the head. A concussion can occur even if a player or student in an activity does not lose consciousness.

Some common signs and symptoms of a sports-related concussion include the following:

Signs (observed by others):

  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Has anxiety
  • Manifests confusion
  • Forgets plays
  • Is unsure about the game, score, or opponent
  • Moves clumsily (altered coordination)
  • Struggles with balance
  • Manifests personality change
  • Responds slowly to questions
  • Forgets events prior to blow
  • Forgets events after the blow
  • Has a vacant stare, “glassy eyed”
  • Has slurred or incoherent speech
  • Experiences loss of consciousness for any duration

Symptoms (reported by a concussed individual):

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Double vision or blurry vision
  • Sensitive to light or noise
  • Feels sluggish
  • Feels “in a fog” or “zoned out”
  • Problems concentrating
  • Disequilibrium
  • Emotional instability
  • Dizziness
  • Problems remembering

These signs and symptoms following a witnessed or suspected blow to the head or body indicate a probable concussion. A single concussion may lead to lasting brain damage. Continued participation in a sporting event after sustaining a concussion, or returning to athletic activity too soon after sustaining a concussion, puts an athlete at greater risk of suffering a more serious traumatic head injury. In some cases, individuals have died or sustained permanent neurologic complications as a result of continued participation after having prior concussive head injuries.


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Training

Each faculty member, employee, representative, and volunteer of the university shall be familiar with, and have a copy of, this policy.


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Parent/Guardian Acknowledgement

Prior to actual participation in a sporting event by a child, the responsible university department must provide a written copy of this policy to a parent or legal guardian of the child. The responsible university department shall also obtain a signed acknowledgement from the child’s parent or legal guardian, stating that the parent or legal guardian has read, understands, and agrees to abide by this policy.


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Concussion and Head Injury Management

All students and minors participating in any sporting event should report to a university faculty member, employee, representative, or volunteer any signs or symptoms of a concussion observed in themselves or others. Any student or child who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or a traumatic head injury shall be immediately removed from participating in any sporting event.

After being suspected of sustaining a concussion or a traumatic head injury, a student or child may not return to any sporting event until the student or child is evaluated by a qualified health care provider and provides the university with a written statement from the qualified health care provider. The written statement must affirm that (1) the provider has, within three years before the date on which the written statement is made, successfully completed a continuing education course in the evaluation and management of a concussion, and (2) the student or child is cleared to resume participation in the sporting event.

1 Utah Code Ann. §§ 26-53-101 through -401.
2 Utah Code Ann. § 26-53-102(6).