Important Information About Concussions

Given the potential serious consequences that can befall students who experience concussions, the Weston Public Schools urges all parents to educate themselves about the dangers.
 Parents of student athletes are now required by Massachusetts law
to participate in an online course about the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
This course (which is indicated for coaches) provides valuable information on head injury prevention and control.
All individuals serving as Weston Public Schools’ coaches this fall have participated in a mandatory course on this topic. Faculty and staff are also being trained. If you have any questions, please contact your school nurse or the Director of Athletics, Mike McGrath.
Jamy Gaynor, Ed.D., MS, RN, NCSN Director of Health Services
Michael McGrath, Director of Athletics
What is a Concussion?

The term mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) is used interchangeably with the term concussion. An MTBI or concussion is defined as a complex pathophysiologic process affecting the brain, induced by traumatic biomechanical forces secondary to direct or indirect forces to the head. Concussion, in Latin, means “to shake violently” and MTBI is caused by a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Disturbance of brain function is related to neurometabolic dysfunction, rather than structural injury, and is typically associated with normal structural neuroimaging findings (i.e., CT scan, MRI). MTBI may or may not involve a loss of consciousness (LOC). In fact, recent research suggests that up to 90% of concussions do not involve an LOC (ref). MTBI results in a constellation of physical, cognitive, emotional and sleep-related symptoms. Duration of symptoms are highly variable and may last for as short as several minutes and last as long as several days, weeks, months, or even longer in some cases.1-3 Concussion is a highly variable process and differential outcomes are associated with multiple factors, including the associated biomechanical forces of injury, pre-existing risk factors, and likely other unknown factors or considerations.

Information provided by

Weston Athletic Training is on the forefront of concussion management and takes every precaution when assessing an athlete with a (MTBI) head injury. We use tools such as Sports Concussion Assessment Tool 5 (SCAT5) test, Visual Ocular Motor Screening (VOMS) and ImPact neurocognitive testing to record baseline and follow up tests with our athletes.

Useful Links

Parent and Athlete Information

Concussion Fact Sheet for Athletes 

Concussion Fact Sheet for Parents

NATA Position Statement on Concussion

 Related Articles

Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport

Girls often neglected victims

Concussion and performance

Causes, effects and risks

Concussions and repercussions

Concussions in Hockey

Silence on Concussion


If an athlete is suspected of having sustained a concussion or MTBI (Mild Traumatic Brain Injury) he or she will be removed from competition immediately and will not be released back into their respective sport until they have been cleared by a Physician, Athletic Trainer or another qualified allied healthcare professional. Please follow link for current legislation:

The entire healthcare professional team involved in the evaluative and rehabilitative process must consult with one another and make a sound clinical judgment regarding the athlete’s return to play status.

*Academic accommodations will be made available if and when deemed necessary pending documentation from a physician.


1. Acute evaluation SCAT5 (on sideline), visual ocular motor screening (VOMS)

2. Recommendations to family and athlete regarding return to school (24-48 hours of rest from academics and other cognitive function) i.e. Video gaming, text messaging, computer use, TV.

3. Make appointment with PCP/medical care provider/MTBI specialist (athlete must see physician for return to play criteria)

4. Follow-up testing when asymptomatic

Sport Related Concussion Rehabilitation Protocol

SWAY neurocognitive testing can only be performed when asymptomatic (no symptoms) for 24 hours. Student athlete will progress sequentially through each rehabilitation phase and may not progress to the next phase until asymptomatic for 48 hours min.

Phase 1

Post injury (SWAY follow-up test #1)
If scores within normal reliable change index, athlete may begin non impact rehab protocol.

Phase 2

Exertion (non impact)

Phase 3

Sports Specific rehab (SWAY follow-up test #2 performed following day)
Follow-up scores fall within normal reliable change index, student athlete may begin light contact workouts.

Phase 4

Light Contact

Phase 5
Full Contact practice (SWAY  follow-up test #3 performed following day)

Follow-up scores fall within normal reliable change index, student athlete may return to full activity with no restrictions.