Concussions - Athletic Trainers, Directors, and Coaches
Basic Concussion Protocols for Athletic Trainers and Coaches
An athlete with a suspected concussion must be taken out of play immediately (per Florida legislation) and cannot return until they have obtained a written medical clearance from a neurologist or a physician trained in the management of concussions.
During the time between sustaining the concussion and seeing the doctor, it is advised that the athlete rest as much as possible, both physically and mentally.
Once the player is asymptomatic (which means symptoms have disappeared), the player's physician will advise them to begin a "Gradual Return to Play" process.
How do I tell if a player has sustained a concussion?
Read our concussion signs and symptoms in our FAQ to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
How does Gradual Return to Play (GRTP) work?
When a physician has cleared an athlete, the athlete cannot immediately return to full-contact. Instead, a Gradual Return to Play (GRTP) checklist is implemented.
GRTP allows the player - in incremental daily steps - to re-acclimate their brain to exercise and expenditure in a safe and controlled manner.
It is important that the athlete show no signs or symptoms such as dizziness, headache, or nausea during the GRTP process; if so, the athlete must report this to their athletic trainer and return to their concussion physician for further evaluation. However, if the athlete successfully passes the GRTP checklist with no symptoms, they can return to full contact.
What is the injury reporting system, and how does it affect me?
Our concussion program tracks all sports-related, high school concussion injuries with Miami-Dade County Public Schools for research and evaluation. If a player is injured in the course of their athletic activities, their respective MDCPS athletic trainer is required to report this concussion to our program through our online injury surveillance form.
Reporting takes approximately 5 minutes.
Our 15-minute video - produced in partnership with Sports Legacy Institute (now Concussion Legacy Foundation) - explains the health dangers of concussions and what teammates can do to stay safe during play or practice: