• Dear Parents/Guardians:


    The Dunkirk City School District recognizes that concussion and head injuries are a leading cause of injuries in children and adolescents. Concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that can go undetected and lead to physical and cognitive damage, if not death. We need your help in supporting our plan for prevention and detection so that your children are safe and can return to school and sport activities with optimum success.


    Please take time to review the following information and visit the following websites for further information on concussion and head injuries, signs and symptoms, and practices for prevention. Our coaches, athletic trainers and school nurses are making every effort to keep our students safe.


    Students who are identified with concussion or head injury will be immediately removed from athletic/physical activities during and after the school day [for younger children this also includes playground activities], and may return to activities only after:


    1.    Being symptom free for not less than 24 hours


    2.    Evaluated by a licensed physician and submits a signed written authorization to resume academics and physical activities.


    3.    Grades 7-12 athletes will undergo a Return to Play Protocol before resuming any physical activity.





    What is a concussion?

    A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. Although there may be cuts or bruises on the head or face, there may be no other visible signs of a brain injury.


    What causes a concussion?

    Your brain is a soft organ that is surrounded by spinal fluid and protected by your hard skull. Normally, the fluid around your brain acts like a cushion that keeps your brain from banging into your skull. But if your head or your body is hit hard, your brain can crash into your skull and be injured.


    There are many ways to get a concussion. Some common ways include fights, falls, playground injuries, car crashes, and bike accidents. Concussions can also happen while participating in any sport or activity such as football, boxing, hockey, soccer, skiing, or snowboarding.


    What are the symptoms?

    It is not always easy to know if someone has a concussion. You don't have to pass out (lose consciousness) to have a concussion.


    Symptoms of a concussion range from mild to severe and can last for hours, days, weeks, or even months. If you notice any symptoms of a concussion, contact your doctor.


    If you notice any symptoms of a concussion, contact your doctor.


    Symptoms of a concussion fit into four main categories:

    Thinking and remembering

    Ø  Not thinking clearly

    Ø  Feeling slowed down

    Ø  Not being able to concentrate

    Ø  Not being able to remember new information



    Ø  Headache

    Ø  Fuzzy or blurry vision

    Ø  Nausea and vomiting

    Ø  Dizziness

    Ø  Sensitivity to light or noise

    Ø  Balance problems

    Ø  Feeling tired or having no energy


    Emotional and mood

    Ø  Easily upset or angered

    Ø  Sad

    Ø  Nervous or anxious

    Ø  More emotional



    Ø  Sleeping more than usual

    Ø  Sleeping less than usual

    Ø  Having a hard time falling asleep


    Young children can have the same symptoms of a concussion as older children and adults. But sometimes it can be hard to tell if a small child has a concussion.


    Young children may also have symptoms like:

    Ø  Crying more than usual.

    Ø  Headache that does not go away.

    Ø  Changes in the way they play or act.

    Ø  Changes in the way they nurse, eat, or sleep.

    Ø  Being upset easily or having more temper tantrums.

    Ø  A sad mood.

    Ø  Lack of interest in their usual activities or favorite toys.

    Ø  Loss of new skills, such as toilet training.

    Ø  Loss of balance and trouble walking.

    Ø  Not being able to pay attention.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   http://www.cdc.gov/concussion 

    What is a Concussion?

    A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.


    Health care professionals may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, their effects can be serious.


    What are the Signs and Symptoms of Concussion?

    What Should I do If a Concussion Occurs?

    What Can I do to Help Feel Better After a Concussion?

    What Can I do to Help Prevent Concussion and other forms of TBI?

    Where Can I Find Videos, Podcasts, and Other Media?

    Where Can I Find Support and Additional Resources?


    New York State Department of Health



    Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)


    Each year, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) result in the death of over 2,000 New York State residents and the hospitalization of over 18,000 New Yorkers. Along with thousands of deaths and hospitalizations each year, an estimated 75% of all TBI cases are treated and released from emergency departments. Recent data shows that, on average, approximately 1.7 million people in the U.S. sustain a traumatic brain injury annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


    The risks of TBIs can be reduced by taking such steps as wearing a seat belt in a motor vehicle, using appropriate child safety seats properly, wearing sports-specific head gear when involved in athletics and taking steps to prevent falls for persons of all ages.


    What is a TBI?


    Types of traumatic brain injury

    Ø  Penetrating head injuries occur when an object, like a rock, a piece of metal or shrapnel, enters the brain and causes damage in a specific area.


    Ø  Closed head injuries occur when there's a blow to the head, which can happen during a fall, car crashes, sporting event, or any number of different ways.

    (Portions of above material were taken from/modeled after the Sweet Home HS webpage and CDC webpage for reference purposes)