ImPACT Testing Information
As part of our commitment to providing quality healthcare to all student‐athletes of the Spring Grove Area School District, we are sharing the following important information about concussions. Please read it carefully. After reading this information, we request that the student and a parent/guardian sign the acknowledgment form and return it to the Athletic Office.
A concussion is a disturbance in brain function that occurs from a blow to the head or from violent shaking of the head. Such an impact to the head can occur through involvement in a variety of activities, and it is estimated that 300,000 sports‐related concussions occur annually in the United States. The likelihood of an athlete in a contact sport sustaining a concussion is as high as 19%. Contrary to popular belief, 90% of athletes incurring a concussion do not lose consciousness.
Concussions should be taken seriously. The phrase “you just had your bell rung” trivializes the potential severity of the impact. If a blow is significant enough to result in symptoms, a concussion should be assumed. Some of the more common concussion symptoms include:
- blurred vision
- difficulty concentrating
- recall/memory in class
Concussions that are not managed properly can lead to memory loss, academic problems, long‐term headaches, and even coma or death. Every concussion is different and must be managed individually. All student-athletes and parents also need to be aware of the risk of an injury called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries. The best available evidence tells us that CTE is caused by repetitive hits to the head sustained over a period of years. CTE can occur from hits to the head that do not cause full‐blown concussions as the biggest factor.
Symptoms may include behavioral problems, mood problems, and problems with thinking. Symptoms typically do not begin until years after the injuries.
For more information on sport‐related concussions and other head injuries, please visit the following websites:
- CDC Concussion Information
- Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers' Society Concussion Information
- Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania
- BrainSteps - The Brain Injury School Consulting Program
- Concussion Foundation - What is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
- Stop Sports Injuries Concussion Information
- NCAA Health and Safety Topics
Although the possibility of incurring a concussion while participating in athletic activities continues to exist, measures can be taken to mitigate the likelihood of a concussion. One such measure is to increase awareness of the potential for brain trauma associated with physical activities. Education and awareness are vital to making informed decisions.
Another measure currently enacted by the Spring Grove Area School District’s Athletic Department is the implementation of a neck‐strengthening program embedded in daily practice warm‐ups to help decrease the risk of a concussion.
Spring Grove Area School District (SGASD) and ImPACT
The SGASD Athletic Training Department uses a computer‐based testing procedure for concussed athletes, called the ImPACT (Immediate Post‐Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) Program developed by medical professionals at the University of Pittsburgh. As a proactive measure, all SGASD athletes obtain a baseline score bi‐annually that can be reviewed in the event an athlete sustains a concussion during his/her Spring Grove athletic career. Please contact the Athletic Training Office to arrange for a baseline assessment if your son/daughter does not have access to the internet at home.
All 7th, 9th, and 11th-grade athletes, as well as any athletes that are new to the athletic program, MUST complete a baseline test. All athletes will be tested every other year. Athletes in 8th, 10th, and 12th grade need only take a baseline if they did not take one during the past school year. Athletes will be held out of practice and/or game participation until this testing is completed.
The baseline test takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. The test should be taken in a distraction‐free environment (no TV, cell phones, tablets, etc.). Students should only take the baseline test when they have an uninterrupted 30 minutes to devote to taking the test, from start to finish. Several of the tests are timed so there should be no interruptions during the test procedure. Scores are checked for validity so athletes should take the test seriously and read all directions carefully.
If an athlete suffers a concussion during the season, the student retakes the test and the results are compared to the baseline data. An athlete needs to meet FOUR criteria to safely return to play:
- Symptom-free at rest
- ImPACT scores have returned to baseline levels
- Symptom-free while running and performing skills related to the sport
- Cleared by a Licensed Physician [MD (Doctor of Medicine) OR DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine)] to return to play
To Complete ImPACT Baseline Test:
- Visit the ImPACT Baseline Test here
- Enter the Customer ID Code: 9162426AAF
After logging in, follow the prompts given by the program. This test must be completed prior to the first day of practice. Only one Baseline Test is needed once every other school year.
If you have further questions regarding ImPACT, please visit the Impact Text website or call the Athletic Training Office at 717-225‐4731 ext. 7539.
Concussions affect people differently. While most athletes with a concussion recover quickly and fully, some may have symptoms that last for days or weeks. A serious concussion can last for months or longer. It is better to miss one game than the whole season. If a student believes he/she, or a friend, may have a concussion, do not hide it. Report it. Take time to recover.