Health Documents

Wesleyan Health Services has released a series of documents to help parents identify concussion symptoms and care for a child with a concussion. Included is a list of physicians familiar with Wesleyan's concussion protocols.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a traumatically induced alteration in mental status with or without associated loss of consciousness. It can be caused from direct or indirect contact of an object hitting the head.

What do I do if my child has a suspected concussion or is showing concussion symptoms?

The first step is to let a Wesleyan Athletic Trainer know that your child may have a head injury. The athletic trainers’ can make you aware of concussion protocols, as it can be a bit overwhelming. In interest of student safety and well-being, it is Wesleyan Schools’ policy that all student suspected of a concussion and/or displaying sign of a concussion be evaluated by a concussion specialist.

Who should my child go see?

Wesleyan strongly suggest that concussed students see a concussion specialist. We recommend Dr. Pombo or Dr. Jayanthi with Emory at John’s Creek. They are able to provide us with a very detailed plan of care including academic accommodations, athletic restrictions, and extracurricular restrictions. In addition, they are able to administer ImPACT testing and have access to Wesleyans’ ImPACT database. This is helpful because we baseline ImPACT test all of our students at the beginning of the year.

What should I observe for in my child?

Although most concussions do not cause long-term or permanent damage, any concussion can be potentially dangerous because it affects the brain.As an athlete, your child should be monitored for any signs or symptoms (or increase in symptoms) after your child leaves the athletic training room/sport site.If serious problems are going to occur, they will generally show up during the first 24-48 hours.
Examples of signs and symptoms to watch for include:

Physical | Motor Cognitive Behavior | Emotion
Dazed | Stunned Amnesia Irritable
Balance Difficulties Confusion Emotionally Unstable
Weakness Slowed verbal response Depressed
Slowed Reactions Forgets easily Sleep disturbance
Lack of facial expressions Difficulty concentrating Anxious
  Short Attention Span
Lack of interest

Is it OK for my child to go to sleep after a concussion?

Yes.Your son/daughter will likely be tired after a concussion from the injury itself, the athletic activity they just completed and the evaluation by the athletic trainers and/or doctor.In fact, sleep may have some healing effects on the injury.Your child does not need to be awakened every hour but should have someone stay with him/her to check on them every now and again.If you notice a change or increase in symptoms please contact your Athletic Trainer or go to the ER.In addition to sleep, your child will need cognitive rest.This means avoiding things that cause heightened brain activity and concentration, such as playing video games, watching TV, cell phone and computer time, and homework, etc.It may also be a good idea to hold off studying until your child has gotten some sleep, as difficulty concentrating can be a symptom.

What can my child take for headache or other pains?

Generally, we will allow you to take acetaminophen (Tylenol).Your child should avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, Advil, and Motrin for the first 72 hours following injury.

What if my child starts to experience symptoms during the school day?

If your child starts to feel worse during the school day, he/she should go to the nurse’s clinic to rest. If your child continues to feel bad, the nurse will contact you to come pick your child up.

When can my child return to exercise and sport?

It is important to allow the brain to properly heal before participating in any activity that could lead to another blow to the head.With repeated concussions, the severity and duration of symptoms can be much more serious and last far longer.Therefore, your child should avoid any physical activity until cleared by the physician and/or athletic trainer.Once your child is symptom free for 24 hours, the Wesleyan athletic trainers will begin a return-to-play program.
This typically takes 5 days (given your child’s symptoms do not return).
Wesleyan School Athletic Trainers will always act in the best interest of the student athlete according to the law.This may not always be in agreement with a physician’s release to play.

Contact Information:

Kerri White

Certified Athletic Trainer

MS, ATC, LAT, PES

678-223-2234 (Office)

704-724-8063 (Cell)

Chris Encinas

Certified Athletic Trainer 

ATC, LAT, ACSM-PT

678-223-2199 (Office)

Dr. Pombo’s Secretary

404-778-1831 (Direct)

Day of Injury Referral Symptoms:

Loss of consciousness on the field
Amnesia
Increased blood pressure
Cranial nerve deficits
Vomiting
Motor deficits subsequent to initial on-field exam
Sensory deficits subsequent to initial on-field exam
Balance deficits subsequent to initial on-field exam
Post-concussive symptoms that worsen
Additional symptoms as compared to those on the field
Athlete is symptomatic at the end of the game
Deterioration of neurological function*
Decreasing level of consciousness*
Decrease or irregularity in respiration*
Decrease or irregularity in pulse*
Unequal, dilated, or non-reactive pupils*
Any signs or symptoms of associated injuries, spine, or skull fracture or bleeding*
Mental status change - lethargy, difficulty maintaining arousal, confusion, or agitation*

Seizure activity*

*Indicates that the athlete needs to be transported immediately to the nearest emergency facility.

Return to Play Guidelines

  1. See Concussion Specialist. We recommend Dr. Pombo or Dr. Jayanthi at Emory John’s Creek.
  2. Activity Progressions - Progressions will begin when instructed to do so by concussion specialist.
    Progression will not start until athlete has been symptom free for 24 hours
    Athlete must be symptom free (and stay symptom free)
    Light aerobic exercise with no resistance training
    Light aerobic exercise with resistance training
    Sport specific activity
    Non-contact training drills with resistance training
    Full contact training drills (must have physician clearance)
    Note - Athlete progression continues as long as the athlete continues to be symptom free at current level.If the athlete experiences any post-concussion symptoms, wait 24 hours and start the progression again from the beginning.
  3. Physician Clearance
  4. Athletic Trainer Clearance

Although the above provides a specific protocol by which we handle concussions, it is important to note that every concussion is different and some may need more treatment time than what is outlines above.