Getting A-Head of Concussion

Getting A-Head of Concussion

Phil Hossler, A.T.C. and Ron Savage, Ed.D.

Concussion is the most common type of brain injury among children and adolescents in school. By describing the student-athlete's neighborhood, this manual takes an innovative and comprehensive approach to educating parents, teachers, physicians, coaches, athletic trainers, school nurses, and peers about the effects of mild brain injury on physical abilities, cognitive skills, behaviors and social interactions. This manual provides supports and accommodations for the student athlete from the playing field to the classroom.

Read an interview with Phil Hossler on concussion in school sports.

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Full Description

This manual is an innovative approach to understanding the effects of concussion in school age children and adolescents. The authors identify all the people who may be involved with the student-athlete at home and in school.

Special sections for each group list signs of concussion to watch for with tips or suggestions for what to do.

Ideal for in-services to educators, school nurses, athletic trainers and coaching staff , it includes a 7 Day Post Concussion Symptom Scale and an 8 Week Post Concussion Checklist.

This booklet will help…

  • everyone recognize the signs and symptoms of concussion
  • parents monitor their child’s progress and communicate with the doctor
  • the student-athlete understand what it means to have a concussion
  • friends understand and support the student-athlete
  • educators recognize effects in the classroom and provide accommodations
  • school nurses identify undiagnosed concussions and track recovery
  • coaches recognize signs of concussion and refer the student for treatment
  • certified athletic trainers educate, communicate and intervene

ISBN# 1-931117-36-5
Pages 48 pages, 7 x 8.5, softcover
Year 2006


Phil Hossler, ATC

Author of two textbooks and 28 articles on athletic training, Phil Hossler helped create New Jersey’s 1984 Athletic Training Practice Act as well as the landmark 1999 New Jersey state law recognizing high school athletic trainers by the State Department of Education. He has worked with high school athletes for 30 years and is currently the Certified Athletic Trainer at East Brunswick High School in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

Phil Hossler was a founding member of New Jersey’s Athletic Training Society, served on its executive committee for 16 years, and is the society’s only two time president. He is now President of the 6,000 member Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association.

He served 15 years as the medical director of New Jersey’s Garden State Games and has traveled six times to Europe, South America and in the US with Olympic level teams. Widely recognized for his expertise on athletic training, he is the recipient of numerous awards from the Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, and the MBM/Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association. He was an inaugural member of the New Jersey Athletic Trainers’ Hall of Fame in 1997. He was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame in 1999 and the New Jersey State Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2001.

Ronald Savage, Ed.D.

Dr. Savage has worked with children, adolescents and young adults with traumatic brain injuries and neurological disorders for over 35 years. Presently, Dr. Savage is Executive Vice President for the North American Brain Injury Society (NABIS).

Dr. Savage is the former Executive Vice President of the Bancroft Neurosciences Institute in New Jersey; the former Senior Vice President of Behavioral Health and Rehabilitative Services at The May Institute in Massachusetts; and the former Executive Director of Clinical Services for Rehabilitation Services of New York.

Dr. Savage has developed and directed several specialized brain injury programs for children and young adults throughout the country. He has authored textbooks, journal articles and book chapters on pediatric brain injury. Dr. Savage is the former Chairperson of the Pediatric Task Force for the Brain Injury Association of America, the past Co-Chairperson of the International Pediatric Task Force for the International Brain Injury Association, and serves on numerous professional and advisory boards across the country.


About the Authors



Signs and Symptoms of Concussion

Parents in the Neighborhood

Doctor in the Neighborhood

Student Athlete in the Neighborhood

Friends in the Neighborhood

Teachers in the Neighborhood

School Nurse in the Neighborhood

Coaches in the Neighborhood

Certified Athletic Trainer in the Neighborhood

Communicating Information in the Neighborhood

Post Concussion 7 Day Symptom Scale

Post Concussion 8 Week Checklist




Sample excerpt. Preview only – please do not copy.


Concussion is the most common brain injury in sports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate there are 300,000 sports-related concussions in the United States each year.

Athletes are active, motivated, dedicated, and goal oriented. Their benefits from athletic participation run wide and deep. These characteristics are important to their athletic success. But when an athlete has a concussion and activity is restricted during recovery, these characteristics can lead to frustration, denial and depression.

Even though our student-athletes do not make the money that professionals make, they are just as valuable to us. Thus, student-athletes who sustain concussions need to be measured, monitored and managed by a concussion team that includes the coach, certified athletic trainer, doctor, parents, teachers, school nurse, school psychologist and concussion specialists.

Even the most responsible athlete may not give up participating in sports voluntarily. That is why everyone in the athlete’s "neighborhood" should be involved when there is a possibility that an athlete has a concussion. Neighbors include the athlete’s family, coaches, teachers, friends, school nurses, doctor and certified athletic trainer.

This booklet provides information about concussions. The first section explains what a concussion is and the possible immediate and long term effects. The following sections describe each person’s role in the neighborhood as guardian, protector and caregiver in the injured athlete’s recovery. Because the neighborhood functions like a team, it will be useful for readers to understand each person’s role – as doctor, parent, athlete, friend, teacher, educator, school nurse, coach, or certified athletic trainer. After reading the entire booklet, readers may want to give special attention to the sections that discuss their role in the student athlete’s care and recovery.

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