Belton School District Concussion Management Policy for Athletics

  • A. Utilize Best Practices for the SWAY program, follow MSHSAA Sports Medicine recommendations and policies, and Missouri State Law House Bills 300, 334, 387.

    B. SWAY baseline testing will be a Belton School District athletics/activity eligibility requirement for athletes of contact and limited contact sports in grades 7-12. Student-athletes/participants of these sports or activities must have a valid baseline test on record in order to participate. SWAY testing includes written consent from a parent/guardian as well as written or verbal consent for post-injury testing.  A student-athlete/participant will not be allowed to participate in a game or competition without a valid SWAY baseline test. 

    Student-athletes/participants will be baseline tested every 2 years starting with the first year of participation in a contact or limited contact sport of activity.

    Student-athletes/participants of non-contact sports/activities who sustain or are suspected of sustaining concussion will be required to have a SWAY consent form completed. Then a SWAY post-test will be administered and the results compared to SWAY normative data.

    Individual SWAY baseline testing will be available to all student-athletes/participants in the district at the request of their coach, parent, or licensed health care provider.

    Student-athletes/participants with a known history of concussion may also be required to have a valid baseline test.

    C. Any student-athlete/participant who is known to have sustained a head injury outside of sanctioned district sport or activity will be required to follow the same policies for concussion clearance as if sustained during a district activity.

    D. Student-athletes who sustain a concussion or are suspected to have sustained concussion will be advised and urged to seek care from a concussion specialist trained in using the SWAY program. For parents electing to seek care otherwise, a primary care provider (PCP) must be seen and the SWAY data is to be part of the decision for return-to-play.

    Parent/guardian will be required to sign an acknowledgment on the SWAY consent form indicating:

    (1)   A concussion specialist has the qualifications and training necessary to properly interpret the SWAY data and use it as part of determining a safe return to participation.

    (2) The district prefers and urges that a concussion specialist is consulted and provides final clearance for return to activity.

    E. Regardless of the course of action employed to reach final clearance, all student-athletes who are diagnosed with a concussion by the district athletic trainer or another health care professional will be required to complete MSHSAA Return to Play Procedures After a Concussion. No student-athlete/participant diagnosed with a concussion will be permitted to return to full activity until they are without symptoms at rest and complete a 5-day graded return to play protocol without experiencing symptoms. The MSHSAA Concussion Return to Play Form must be completed. Exceptions are made for student-athlete/participants who are under the direct care of a concussion specialist who may progress the athlete under their direct supervision.

    F. Consideration for disqualification for an entire season, any part of a season, or from a sport or type of sport or activity, e.g. contact, may occur for student-athletes/participants with a history of repeated concussion, prolonged symptoms of concussion, or suspected unresolved concussion. The student-athlete/participants’ overseeing physician must exercise the best judgment when deciding athletic disqualification. In addition, the expertise of a concussion specialist may be required at the discretion of the team physician.

    The use of a medical waiver to permit participation for disqualification due to concussion or head injury requires central office review and approval.

    G. Consideration for re-qualification from a concussion may require approval by the physician who disqualified the athlete, school district administrators, and the team physician who may require the expertise of additional health care providers.

    H. Student-athletes/participants diagnosed with a concussion or who are suspected to have a concussion will be post-injury tested only if parental consent was provided. Administration of serial post-tests requires direction from a physician.

    I. Documentation from a physician is necessary in order to provide student-athlete/participants academic accommodations. The nurse and guidance counselors of the respective school building will coordinate this process, with assistance from the district athletic trainer.

    J. Whenever possible an evaluation for concussion will occur with a coach or parent/guardian present. An exception is made for an immediate acute concussion or other extenuating circumstances. Parent approval may be provided to the athletic trainer to perform the evaluation.