Deer Park School District is excited to announce the implementation of an innovative program for our student-athletes participating in contact sports. This program will assist physicians in the evaluation and treatment of head injuries (e.g., concussion). We have purchased a software tool called ImPACT (Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing). ImPACT is a computerized exam utilized in many professional, collegiate, and high school sports programs across the country to allow health care providers to successfully diagnose and manage concussions. If an athlete is believed to have suffered a head injury during competition, ImPACT is used to help determine the severity of head injury and when the injury has fully healed.

The computerized exam is given to athletes before beginning contact sport practice or competition. This non-invasive test is set up in “video-game” type format and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. It is simple, and many athletes enjoy the challenge of taking the test. Essentially, the ImPACT test is a preseason physical of the brain. It tracks information such as memory, reaction time, speed and concentration. The test, however, is not an IQ test and has no application outside of concussion management and will not be used for any other purposes than for the care of your child should they suffer a concussion.

If a concussion is suspected, the athlete will be required to re-take the test. Both the preseason and post-injury test data is sent to a local sports medicine doctor or athletic trainer upon request to help them evaluate the injury. The information gathered can also be shared with your family doctor. The test data will enable health professionals to determine when return-to-play is appropriate and safe for the injured athlete. Of course, if an injury of this nature occurs to your child, you will be promptly contacted with all the details.

The ImPACT testing procedures are non-invasive, and they pose no risks to your student-athlete. We are excited to implement this program given that it provides us the best available information for managing concussions and preventing potential brain damage that can occur with multiple concussions. Deer Park’s administration and coaching staffs are striving to keep your child’s health and safety at the forefront of the student athletic experience.

If you have questions about Deer Park’s implementation of the ImPACT test, please call Deer Park’s Head Nurse, Dawn Epler, R.N. or Deer Park’s Athletics and Activities Coordinator, Chris Snyder at 468-3500.

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