New Concussion Guidelines in Maryland Schools

Coaches must be trained to recognize injuries

By Kelvin Robinson
|  Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012  |  Updated 8:29 PM EDT
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New Concussion Guidelines in Maryland Schools

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The new school year in Maryland comes with new guidelines for student athletes and concussions.

Maryland's State Department of Education is requiring that by Aug. 31 all coaches be trained in concussion risk management. That includes removing athletes from the field if they suspect a serious head injury.

"They're making sure that every coach is trained in recognizing symptoms early and getting that kid out of the setting," said  Dr. Barton Leonard, the Director of Suburban Hospital's Emergency Department.

Leonard says the symptoms can range depending on the severity of the injury from a dazed, foggy look to severe headache, vomiting and confusion. But he adds the biggest concern is missing a serious injury.

"When a child gets hit in th ehead, they may have a concussion or they may be dazed and confused," he said, adding, "But you want to make sure there isn't a more serious injury, like bleeding in or around the brain."

The new state gudelines also require students to get a medical assessment if there's a suspected injury. That student won't be allowed back on the field until a doctor or licensed health care professional who's authorized to provide sports physical clears them.

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