Concussion and Head Injury
Bellingham Public Schools recognizes that concussions and head injuries are commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and other recreational activities. The risk of catastrophic injuries or death is significant when a concussion or head injury is not properly evaluated and managed.
Therefore, all competitive sport activities in the district will be identified by the administration and all appropriate district staff, coaches and team volunteers will complete training as required in Procedure 3422 to recognize warning signs and symptoms of concussion and head injury. Additionally, all coaches will comply with Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) guidelines for the management of concussions and head injuries.
Consistent with Washington law, the district will utilize guidelines developed with the WIAA and other pertinent information to inform and educate coaches, youth athletes, and their parents/guardians of the nature and risk of concussions or head injuries, including the dangers associated with continuing to play after a concussion or head injury. Annually, the district will distribute head injury and concussion information to all parents/guardians of student participants in competitive sport activities.
Prior to their first use of school facilities, all private nonprofit youth programs must provide a written statement of compliance with this policy in regard to concussion and head injury with proof of insurance as required by RCW 4.24.660.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest
The district further recognizes that sudden cardiac arrest is reported to be the leading cause of death in young athletes. The district will work with the WIAA and the University of Washington medicine center for sports cardiology to make available an online pamphlet that provides student athletes, their parents/guardians and coaches with information about sudden cardiac arrest. To this end, the district will maintain a link on its policy page to the OSPI website where the online pamphlet will be posted.
Annually, prior to participating in an interscholastic athletic activity, students and their parent/guardian must review the online pamphlet and return a signed statement to the school documenting their review. This form may be combined with the annually distributed head injury and concussion information sheet referenced above.
The district will also work with the WIAA and the University of Washington medicine center for sports cardiology to make available an existing online sudden cardiac arrest prevention program for coaches. Every three years, prior to coaching an interscholastic athletic activity, all coaches will complete the online program and provide a certificate of completion to the district.
All coaches, including volunteers, will complete training as required in the district procedure. Additionally, all coaches will comply with Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) guidelines for the management of sudden cardiac arrest.
Prior to their first use of school facilities, all private nonprofit youth programs must provide a written statement of compliance with this policy in regard to sudden cardiac arrest with proof of insurance as required by RCW 4.24.660.
Policy 3412 – Automated External Defibrillators
Policy 3418 – Response to Student Injury or Illness
Policy 4260 – Public Use of School Buildings, Grounds and Facilities
RCW 4.24.660, Liability of school districts under contracts with youth programs
Chapter 28A.600 RCW, Students
2015 – June Policy Issue
2014 – August Issue
Policy News, August 2009, Concussion and Head Injuries Legislation