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Heads Up Concussion Awareness


Concussions are a serious injury that your son/daughter may sustain while participating in athletics. Please use the following information to help educate you in the signs and symptoms of a concussion and how to help aid your student athletes recovery.


Chandler Unified School District has a specific return to play policy in place for ANY athlete who suffers from a concussion.  The medical team will be happy to provide the required paperwork/clearance forms for you if your athlete suffers a concussion.


It is our recommendation that you use one of the team doctors.  They are familiar with the district policy and communicates with us often with concussion patients.  You may however, use any physician of your choosing but will need the required clearance form signed and returned with your athlete before they can begin to return to sports.


If your child sustains a possible concussion during "PE" (their sport hour) and the athletic trainer is NOT available the nurse will contact you and they still need to see the athletic trainer either during 6th hour or after school (preferably that same day).  All other possible concussions sustained during practices or games will be handled initially by the staff athletic trainers.


Frequently Asked Questions

The following are commonly asked - For more information visit the CDC Website


What does a concussion look like?

There are many signs and symptoms to a concussion.  There are physical symptoms and cognitive symptoms to watch for.  The following is a nonexclusive list of these symptoms.


Pressure in head




Blurry Vision

Balance Problems

Sensitivity to light

Sensitivity to Noise

Feeling slowed down

Feeling like "in a fog"

"Don't feel right"

Difficulty Concentrating

Difficulty Remembering




Trouble falling asleep

More Emotional




Just because there was no loss of consciousness does not mean there is not a concussion.  However, a loss of consciousness is a good indication of a concussion.


Should I take them to the ER?

More often than not - no.  If your athlete looses consciousness (blacks out) and/or they have severe symptoms and/or an increase in symptoms, then please take them to the emergency room immediately.


How can I tell the difference between a concussion and a headache or other illness?

Ask yourself this:  Has anyone else been sick in your house/around your child?  Has your child hit his head in the last 24 hours or been in a situation where there might be a risk of a concussion in the last 24 hours? 


If you answered NO then YES --> your child needs to be evaluated by a Hamilton Certified Athletic Trainer ASAP.

If you answered YES then NO --> your child MIGHT be sick (does not mean they do not have symptoms of a concussion) and we will still evaluate and recommend sitting out of sports until they feel better.

If you answered NO then NO -->  your child probably just has a headache or illness - but the student/athlete still needs to be evaluated by a Hamilton Certified Athletic Trainer.

If you answered YES then YES -->  Please have us evaluate them ASAP.


What can I do at home to help with the recovery process?

REST!! The best thing for a concussion is to both physically and cognitively rest.  You do not need to wake them up every hour - just check on them and monitor them.  Cognitive rest includes a break from TV/Video Games/Cell Phones and Homework.


My athlete has a very big game this week and the coach really wants them to play, can the coach let them play even if they have a concussion?

No.  Per Arizona SB1521 and the CUSD Concussion Policy, the only people who can clear your athlete to play are Athletic Trainers, Physician (MD/DO who has been trained in concussion management), Nurse Practitioner, Physicians Assistant.


How long will my athlete have to be out?

Concussion Return to Play timelines vary from person to person.  No two concussions are the same.  Typically we wait for the athlete to become asymptomatic - no symptoms then we begin a return to play protocol.  This protocol requires the athlete to progressively return to sports participation over the course of 5 steps - each taking approximately practice that meets those requirements. 


Example #1: If your athlete gets a concussion on a Friday Night and they report zero symptoms on Monday Morning - Monday is now step 0 (which is resting) they will then likely begin their return to play that week and they will not be ready to play on Friday night in the game.


Example #2: Your athlete sustains a concussion on Monday and continues to have symptoms for 1 week until the next Monday.  That is their step 0.  They have already been sitting out for one week and will still have the 5 step return to play.