Concussion Guidelines and Return to Ride Policy

1. Purpose

  1. Waterloo Cycling Club (WCC) is committed to promoting the safety of those participating in the sport of cycling. The WCC recognizes the increased awareness of concussions and their long-term effects and believes that awareness of concussions is paramount to protecting the health and safety of WCC Members.
  2. This Policy provides guidance in identifying common signs and symptoms of concussion, protocol to be followed in the event of a possible concussion, and return to ride guidelines should a concussion be diagnosed. Awareness of the signs and symptoms of concussion and knowledge of how to properly manage a concussion is critical to recovery and helping to ensure the individual is not returning to physical activities too soon, risking further complications.
  3. A concussion is a clinical diagnosis that can only be made by a physician. Management of concussion and return to activity is the responsibility of the injured Member or the parent/guardian, if applicable.

2. Procedure

  1. During all events and rides, Members will use their best efforts to:
    1. Be aware of incidents that may cause a concussion, such as:
      1. Falls
      2. Accidents
      3. Collisions
      4. Head trauma – (blow to the head, face or neck, or a blow to the body that transmits a force to the head)
    2. Recognize and understand the symptoms that may result from a concussion. These may appear immediately after the injury or within hours or days of the injury and may be different for each person. Some common signs and symptoms include, but are not limited to:
      1. Nausea
      2. Poor concentration
      3. Amnesia
      4. Fatigue
      5. Sensitivity to light or noise
      6. Irritability
      7. Poor appetite
      8. Decreased memory
      9. Poor balance
      10. Slowed reaction time
    3. Identify injured Members or other individuals who have been involved in any of the above incidents and exhibit any of the above symptoms.
  2. If a Member has been identified as having a suspected concussion, the Ride Leader will notify all affected parties of the suspected concussion, including the injured Member, and a parent/guardian (if applicable).
  3. If the Member is unconscious – initiate emergency action plan, call 911, and then:
    1. If possible, contact the Emergency Contact for the injured Member and, if applicable, contact the member’s parent/guardian to inform them of the injury and that the member will be attended to by Emergency Medical Services and possibly transported to a hospital
    2. Stay with the member until Emergency Medical Services arrives
    3. Monitor and document any physical, emotional and/or cognitive changes
  4. If the Member is conscious – advise the Member to cease the activity immediately and then:
    1. Notify the Member’s parent/guardian (if applicable)
    2. Arrange a ride home for the Member
    3. Remain with the Member until he or she can be taken home
    4. Encourage the Member to isolate themselves in a dark room or area
    5. Advise the Member to reduce external stimuli (noise, other people, etc.)
    6. Monitor and document any physical, emotional and/or cognitive changes
    7. Encourage the Member to consult a physician
  5. Members should be aware of the return to activity protocols documented elsewhere.