Sports Injury Prevention

  • Effective July 1, 2011, Kansas law (The School Sports Head Injury Prevention Act), states that any student participating in athletics or spirit teams must provide a signed Concussion and Head Injury Information Release Form to the school office (signed by both a parent/guardian and the student). The form must be on file before the student participates in their first practice of the school year.

    In addition, the law requires the following:

    • Coaches are to remove athletes from play whenever a concussion is suspected.
    • The athlete must have medical clearance to return to play.

    Additional guidelines adopted by the Kansas State High School Activities Association require that:

    • The return to play after a suspected concussion cannot occur on the same day that the signs and/or symptoms of concussion were observed, and
    • After medical clearance, the return to play must follow a graduated protocol. 

    Concussion Vital Signs baseline testing will be a requirement for Olathe School District athletes participating in contact and limited-contact sports in grades 9-12. Concussion Vital Signs testing includes written consent from a parent/guardian. Baseline testing should be completed prior to competition.

    • Student-athletes will be baseline tested every two years starting with the first year of participation in a contact or limited-contact sport.
    • Individual Concussion Vital Signs baseline testing will be available to all student-athletes in the district at the request of their coach, parent, or licensed health care provider.

    Student-athletes who are suspected of sustaining a concussion will be removed from play with recommendations to seek evaluation from a concussion specialist. For parents/guardians electing to seek care from a primary care provider (PCP) an MD/DO clearance is needed for return-to-play decisions.

    • A post-injury Concussion Vital Signs testing is used at the direction of an attending physician as part of their evaluation and/or clearance.
    • Olathe School District athletic trainers will not interpret the test results of the Concussion Vital Signs post-injury test.

    All student-athletes who are suspected of having suffered a concussion or head injury during a sport competition or practice session must be immediately removed from the sport competition or practice session.

    • Recommended from the National Federation of State High School Association and KSHSAA that clearance should not be issued on the same day the athlete was removed from play.

    All student-athletes who are diagnosed with a concussion by an MD/DO will be required to complete a five-step return-to-play (RTP) progression.

    • The RTP will only begin under the direction of the attending MD/DO and the supervision of the school's athletic trainer.
    • The student-athlete will begin the RTP once symptoms have resolved.
    • The five-step RTP protocol can only be done in a minimum of five days. The student-athlete must remain asymptomatic for 24 hours to be able to advance to the next step. Each step is more demanding than the last and will exponentially tax and test different areas of the body.
    • Exceptions for advancement of the RTP protocol will only be made if specifically outlined in writing by attending MD/DO.

    Full clearance will only be granted by the attending MD/DO. However, the physician of care may allow the athletic trainer to return the student-athlete to competition following successful completion of the graduated RTP protocol, with clear documentation from the attending MD/DO.

    Documentation from an MD/DO is necessary in order to provide student-athletes with academic accommodations. The nurse and school counselors of the respective school building will coordinate this process.

    Whenever possible, an evaluation for concussion will occur with a coach or parent/guardian present. Exceptions are made for immediate acute concussion or other extenuating circumstances.

    In the Olathe School District, all baseline Concussion Vital Signs assessments, post-injury assessments and RTP administration by the school athletic trainer are conducted free of charge thanks to the partnership with Olathe Health.

    Concussion resources are available on the KSHSAA website. 

    • Print and sign the pre-season concussion release form found on the Required Athletic Forms page (link at left).

    The following documents are utilized by Olathe Public Schools when a student is suspected of having a concussion.

    (NOTE: Olathe West High School uses online forms submitted through TouchBase, not these PDF documents.)