Health & Safety
Concussion Awareness and Safety
In 2011 the NC General Assembly passed the Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act. This law included several important requirements.
- Schools must provide information to parents, athletes, and coaches about concussions.
- An established return to play (RTP) protocol must be used in all cases involving a concussion.
- Schools must develop an emergency action plan.
Student athletes are required to have a medical examination annually for participation in athletics. In addition to the physical exam form, students and parents are also required to complete the concussion awareness documents required by the Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act.
Warm Weather Activity Guidelines Chart
|Athletic Activity Guidelines
|Less than 80
|Unlimited activity with primary cautions for new or unconditioned athletes or extreme exertion; schedule mandatory rest / water breaks (5 min water / rest break every 30 min)
|Normal practice for athletes; closely monitor new or unconditioned athletes and all athletes during extreme exertion. Schedule mandatory rest / water breaks. (5 min water / rest break every 25 min)
|New or unconditioned athletes should have reduced intensity practice and modifications in clothing. Well-conditioned athletes should have more frequent rest breaks and hydration as well as cautious monitoring for symptoms of heat illness. Schedule frequent mandatory rest / water breaks. (5 min water / rest break every 20 min) Have cold or ice immersion pool on site for games and practices.
|All athletes must be under constant observation and supervision. Remove pads and equipment. Schedule frequent mandatory rest / water breaks. (5 min water / rest break every 15 min) Have cold or ice immersion pool on site for games and practices.
|90 or Above
Warm Weather Activity Schedule Guidelines
Summer Workouts and Practices, Scrimmages, and Contests (June 5, 2021 – Aug. 18, 2021)
Between the hours of 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM, organized outdoor summer workouts or athletic practices are NOT permitted. During this time, scrimmages and contests should not be scheduled to begin earlier than 6:00 PM except where an earlier start time may be required due to facility limitations. If temperatures reach extreme levels, schools should delay the start of and/or lessen the intensity of workouts or practices. (See chart below for specific guidelines.) If temperatures and humidity reach extreme levels during summer workouts or pre-season practice, the Guilford County Schools Director of Athletics will notify schools that they may not begin practices until a later time.
Regular Season Practices & Skill Development* (Aug. 19, 2021 – June 3, 2022)
Beginning August 19th schools may schedule the start of practices at the end of the school work day (somewhere in the 4:00-4:30 time frame). Contests may be scheduled to begin earlier than 6:00 PM. This is permissible under the Warm Weather Procedure, but activities must be adjusted according to guidelines as indicated based on actual Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) measurements. All athletic activities, however, are still subject to a later starting time based on determination of conditions by the Guilford County Schools Director of Athletics.
*No skill development is permitted during dead periods established by the NCHSAA.
Additional information about heat safety and hydration is located on the NCHSAA website and can be accessed using this link: NCHSAA Handbook: Health and Safety
Heat Stress in Athletes and Concussion Prevention
& Injury Management
From the Safer Schools Consulting Center &The Safety Advantage Network™
It has been another record breaking hot summer with temperatures rising above 100 degrees for multiple days at a time. Given these recent high temperatures,now is a good time to caution coaches, trainers, and athletic directors on the dangers of athletes training in the late, hot, summer months. In this email, for your review, Montgomery Insurance ® provides information and safety guidelines on the topic of heat stress in athletes.
As a result of the hot summer last year and the fatalities to athletes caused by heat stress, a number of states have created heat acclimation guidelines for high school. The University of Connecticut provides some helpful information on the status of state guidelines and the importance of heat acclimatization, including a map that will allow you to view state-by-state summaries.
The National Athletic Trainers' Association has drafted a fact sheet of Preseason Heat-Acclimatization Guidelines for Secondary School Athletics . It concludes that a 14-day heat-acclimatization period be included into the start of you training program.
Recommendations Listed in the NATA Heat-Acclimatization Guidelines:
1.During the first five days of the heat-acclimatization process, athletes may not participate in more than one practice per day.
2. If a practice is interrupted by inclement weather or heat restrictions, the practice should recommence once conditions are deemed safe, but total practice time should not exceed three hours per day.
3.A one-hour maximum walk-through is permitted during the first five days of the heat-acclimatization period; however, a three-hour recovery period should be inserted between the practice and walk-through (or vice versa).
4.During the first two days of the heat-acclimatization period, in sports requiring helmets or shoulder pads, a helmet should be the only protective equipment permitted (goalies, as in the case of field hockey and related sports, should not wear full protective gear or perform activities that would require protective equipment). During days three through five, only helmets and shoulder pads should be worn. Beginning on day six, all protective equipment may be worn and full contact may begin.
5. Beginning no earlier than the sixth day and continuing through the 14th day, double-practice days must be followed by a single-practice day. On single-practice days, one walk-through is permitted, but it must be separated from the practice by at least three hours of continuous rest. When a double-practice day is followed by a rest day, another double-practice day is permitted after the rest day.
6. On a double-practice day, neither practice's duration should exceed three hours total, and student-athletes should not participate in more than five total hours of practice. Warm-up, stretching, cool-down, walk-through, conditioning and weight-room activities are included as part of the practice time. The two practices should be separated by at least three continuous hours in a cool environment.
7. Because the risk of exertional heat illnesses during the pre-season heat-acclimatization period is high, the consensus statement strongly recommends that an athletic trainer be on site before, during and after all practices.
Key Insights: When an athlete undergoes a proper heat-acclimatization program, the body's response to exercise and heat is enhanced, while athletes not following a proper program face measurable risks for heat illness. A proper plan in secondary school athletic programs is essential to minimize these risks.
For additional information on this topic visit any of the web sites listed below:
• The Academy of Pediatrics' statement on Heat Stress & Exercising Children and Adolescents
• The National Athletic Trainers' Association
• National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement: Exertional Heat Illnesses
• National Federation of State High School Associations position statement on Heat Acclimation
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that as many as 3.8 million sports and recreation related concussions occur in the United States each year.
Schools and youth services organizations should have a concussion injury awareness and management program in place.
The program should encompass the following areas:
A. A prevention policy on concussion injuries for athletes that also includes an on-going educational component for athletes, coaches and parents.
B. The use of appropriate, properly maintained, safe and well-fitted equipment.
C. Proper preparedness for on-field recognition and timely medical management of a concussion related injury.
D. Timely and complete formal notification to parents/guardians to assist in home care, monitoring and management of deteriorating signs and symptoms.
E. Adequate Return To Play (RTP) protocols.
More information on ways for your school to address concussion prevention and injury management can be found in the document on Concussions in Youth Sports. Montgomery Insurance hopes you find the information in this email to be helpful in making your school a safer place for your workers as well as your students. Please contact your agent or your School Loss Prevention Safety Specialist for information on the many other school resources available.
Our loss prevention service is advisory only. We assume no responsibility for management or control of customer safety activities nor for implementation of recommended corrective measures. The illustrations, instructions and principles contained in this material are general in scope, and to the best of our knowledge, current at the time of publication. We have not tried to identify all hazards. We do not warrant that requirements of any federal, state, or local law, regulation or ordinance have or have not been met. No attempt has been made to interpret any reference codes, standards or regulations.