On the ice, concussions can result from a fall, being struck in the head by the stick or puck, or from players colliding with the ice, with each other, or the boards. Parents, players and coaches should always err on the side of caution when it comes to a blow to the head or a blow to the body that jolts the head.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) teamed up with USA Hockey to develop the "Heads Up: Concussion in Hockey" initiative to offer information about concussions to coaches, parents, and athletes involved in youth sports. Through this partnership, a poster on concussion was disseminated to hockey rinks and to hockey coaches throughout the country.
The "Heads Up: Concussion in Hockey," educational campaign is an expansion of CDC's "Heads Up: Concussion in High School" and "Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports" initiatives. These initiatives include materials and information to help coaches of all sports to help identify concussions and take immediate steps to respond when one is suspected.
To help insure the health and safety of the athletes participating in the league, CHA is posting concussion information recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on our website. We ask that ALL coaches, players and parents support CHA's efforts to protect the players by teaching the importance of following the USA Hockey’s “Heads Up” hockey principals and by being aware of the symptoms/signs of a concussion.
The Basic principles of Heads Up Hockey:
· Heads up—Don’t duck!
· Hit the boards or goal posts with an arm, a leg or anything but your head first.
· Skate into the boards on an angle to dig out the puck.
· Taking a check: Keep your head out of it. Skates parallel to the boards, knees bent, low center of gravity.
· Skate through the check and get away quickly.
· No checking from behind. It’s illegal, dangerous and bad hockey.
· Wear a snug-fitting, HECC-certified helmet in good shape, plus full facial protection.
· Use a mouth guard every time you’re on the ice.
CHA stresses young players are educated about respecting the boards around the rink, respecting their opponents, and learning the proper ways to give and receive contact before they are allowed to participate in contact games. When players do not know how to do it correctly, they put themselves or their opponents at risk and it tend to result in illegal activity. Many of these injuries that occur from body checking are actually penalties for boarding, high-sticking, elbowing, charging, and checking from behind.
If, following a blow to the head or blow to the body that jolts the head, any player has any of the following signs or symptoms, CHA would recommend the player stop physical activity and be seen by a qualified healthcare professional.
CHA would strongly recommend that players NOT be allowed to return to play until written permission from a qualified healthcare professional with experience in evaluating concussions is received. Coaches and Association Officials should never knowingly allow any athlete to return to play if they are still exhibiting symptoms regardless of any medical clearance. Parents, players and coaches should always err on the side of caution when it comes to a blow to the head or a blow to the body that jolts the head.
Any coach/player/parent who suspects that a player may have received a head injury, should report that injury to a Board Member of the Association as soon as is practically possible. CHA would recommend that ALL Coaches/Parents/Players should read the following appropriate documents put out by the CDC on Concussions.