Preview: Concussion management and heat acclimatization for the secondary school setting

Concussion management

Neumann University looks forward to hosting the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) Soul of Youth Sport Conference from June 15 – 17. Here, Jeremy Fisher previews his discussions on concussion management and heat acclimatization. Jeremy is the Head Athletic Trainer of the Las Vegas Wranglers, a professional hockey team within the East Coast Hockey League.


It is paramount that every secondary educational institution be current on the accepted practices of concussion management and heat acclimatization.  Since my January 2014 webinar, Concussion Management for the Secondary School Setting, with Chris Cosentino, Associate Executive Director of the Secondary Schools Department, there have been several changes made to acceptable position statements regarding concussions, as well as new research. One of these items is new research on the King-Devick Test showing its validity and reliability, which takes only minutes and can be performed on the sideline. There have also been updates in the NATA position statement on proper concussion management.

My presentation at the Soul of Youth Sport conference in June will discuss the following topics related to concussions: basic concussion education, changes in protocols, proper management in relation to course load, proper return to play protocols, and incorporating Impact® into your school.  Specific scenarios will be given throughout the session to help show that concussions are not always cut and dry, nor can each one be treated the same way.

It is also very important that each institution have a proper concussion management plan that requires everyone on the concussion management team be current in the proper practices of concussion management.  The presentation will also include who needs to be on this team and why.

Heat acclimatization is relatively new across the nation in the high school setting.  It has gained importance each year when athletes die from a lack of such acclimatization programs.   The NCAA put acclimatization plans in place for football in the early 2000’s in response to the death of Korey Stringer from the Minnesota Vikings.  The NCAA eventually placed acclimatization standards for most fall sports which started a trickle-down effect to the high school settings.  In addition, the Korey Stringer Institute has also played a large part in the implementation of acclimatization at the professional, collegiate, and high school athletic programs.

Heat related deaths in athletics are for the most part completely preventable.  It is important that each high school implement a heat acclimatization plan whether their state mandates it or not.  In addition to heat acclimatization my presentation will also cover the importance of emergency action plans and how to practice them.  In the event that a heat related issue arises or another emergent issue, you are able to implement your plan flawlessly and effectively.

I look forward to seeing you at the Soul of Youth Sport conference at Neumann University, June 15-17!
2014 soul of youth sport conference

Featured image via flickr (c) John Martina Pavliga

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