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How to Advance Youth Athlete Safety in Eight to Ten Minutes

By SportsEngine, 04/17/12, 3:15AM CDT

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Late last year we introduced you to Axon Sports, creators of a breakthrough testing system that helps qualified medical providers make return-to-play decisions after head injuries. In recognition of National Youth Sports Safety Month, you might consider upgrading your league’s safety efforts, including the addition of baseline testing.

What is a concussion?
More and more common in youth sports, a concussion is a traumatic brain injury induced by traumatic force – either a direct or indirect blow. The injury affects an athlete’s brain function or cognition. Every athlete reacts differently. Every recovery is unique to the individual and the injury.

What is a baseline test?
A “Baseline Test” is a term for any test completed before a treatment or activity. A cognitive baseline test is one tool in an effective concussion management program because it measures what we can’t see – cognitive (brain) function.

Why introduce baseline testing for your athletes?

  • Cognitive Baseline Testing is a best practice and recommended by both the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Concussions don’t play favorites. They can occur in any sport, at any level. All athletes are at risk. Taking a baseline test allows a qualified medical provider to have a benchmark for comparison should an athlete sustain a concussion.
  • The results of medical research indicate that while athletes typically recover from the physical symptoms of a concussion within seven to 10 days of the injury; cognitive function, such as attention, working memory, speed and accuracy in thinking — the very functions that the CCAT measures — may not return as quickly.