Just a week after the Newton School Committee approved of a new head injury policy, a report shows that Newton South High School ranks high in reported sports head injuries.
According to a report in the Boston Globe, Newton South and Marshfield ranked the highest in a Globe survey of 26 local high schools, with 27 head injuries apiece. The head injuries are from soccer and football combined, the report said.
According to the report, the 26 schools reported more than 300 head injuries total, with more than 200 coming from football players, 85 from girls' soccer programs and 46 from boys' soccer programs.
At its meeting last Monday, the Newton School Committee gave unanimous approval to a new head injury policy. Under new state regulations, the district must report head injuries to the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health and develop policies and protocols related to head injuries by March 1, 2012.
The policy passed by the School Committee lists the following expectations:
- Annual head injury training for all athletic directors, certified athletic trainers, coaches, school nurses, parents, and students grades 6‐12 participating in extracurricular athletic activities
- Pre‐participation forms for all athletes listing a history of prior head injuries
- System‐wide baseline cognitive testing for comparison during follow‐up care after an injury
- Prompt removal of any athlete suffering a head injury from practice or a game for no less than the day of the injury
- Completion of a head injury form, medical clearance forms to return to play
- Written graduated reentry plans for students determined to need accommodations for return to full activities including academics
- Proper record keeping in the school electronic health record monitored by the school nurse
- Annual reporting of head injury statistics to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
The revised policy also notes that the head injury protocols should be reviewed and revised "at least every two years."
A copy of the head injury policy is included in the .pdf section above.