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Concussion program at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta launches new web portal | Health

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Concussion program at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta launches new web portal
Concussion program at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta launches new web portal

ATLANTA -- Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is launching a new online portal equipped with extensive videos and resources to help primary care physicians and first-response caregivers- coaches, athletic trainers, nurses and families - provide appropriate and effective care to children and teens impacted by concussions.

Developed by the Children's Concussion Program, the web portal aims to help health professionals and athletic leaders recognize and treat concussions using evidence-based tools, guidelines and research. The goal is to prevent serious, long term injuries that could have been avoided through immediate proper care of a concussion.

A concussion can happen anytime, anywhere—on the field, the playground or at home.  Injuries in children and teens are inevitable, but with their brains still developing, head injuries can be especially serious.  Recognition and proper response to concussions when they first occur can help prevent further injury, long term consequences, or even death.

The online portal guides visitors through various phases of concussion management, from symptom-tracking and diagnosis, through to treatment and return to play guidelines.  It also offers useful examples of unique scenarios that may occur for each concussed patient and how best to treat them.  Additionally, the portal provides tips for preventing concussions and recommendations for follow-up care.  The website features detailed tutorial videos by Children's concussion professionals, as well as additional resources and information to aid concussion management.

Children’s was thrilled to learn last night that the Georgia State Senate passed the Return to Play Act of 2013 by a vote of 49-3. The House voted to pass this legislation on March 1 (161-7 vote), so now this bill is eligible to be signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal. Georgia is currently one of only six states without concussion legislation already in place, and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta supports this bill.

HB 284, known as the “Return to Play Act of 2013,” is aimed at developing return to play policies for youth athletes who are concussed during a game and also educating parents on the risks of concussions. Under this bill, all public and private schools are required to create a concussion policy that at a minimum includes the standards below:

  • Prior to the beginning of each athletic season, parents or legal guardians must be provided with an information sheet informing them of the risk of concussions.
  • If a youth athlete participating in a youth athletic activity exhibits symptoms of a concussion, they must be removed from play.
  • Before a youth athlete can return to play, they must be cleared by a healthcare provider.

Additionally, this bill requires public recreational leagues to provide an information sheet to all youth athletes’ parents or legal guardians informing them on the risks of concussions.