An independent day school for grades 6-12
Our top priority is the student-athletes’ safe return to sports or activity.
The Sport Medicine department is responsible for injury prevention, evaluation, treatment, and management of athletic injuries. The Sports Medicine team strives to be a leader in the field and works to establish itself as a model of excellence. The goal of the Sports Medicine program is two-fold. First, we encourage every student-athlete to commit to a pre-season Strength and Conditioning program to prepare them for the physical rigors of their chosen sport, while helping to reduce the potential for injury. Second, if the student-athlete sustains an injury, our goal is to expedite the injured student’s rehabilitation and return to sport as efficiently as possible. The priority is the student’s safe return to sport or activity.

List of 3 members.

Concussion Management Program

The Sports Medicine department at Crystal Springs Upper School believes that the health and safety of the student is of paramount importance. We strive to stay informed through current research and best practices related to the understanding of concussions. The CSUS concussion management program was implemented to ensure that our student-athletes return to academics safely, then athletic competition and/or extra-curricular activities.

Read the FAQ's below to find out more about our Concussion Management Program.

List of 11 frequently asked questions.

  • What is a concussion?

    Every four years, leading medical experts from around the world gather to determine the management, best practices, and guidelines for sport-related concussions. In 2012, the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport proposed the following definition for concussion:

    “Concussion is a brain injury and is defined as a complex pathophysiological (physical, cognitive and emotional) process affecting the brain, induced by biomechanical forces.”¹
    Several common features that incorporate clinical, pathologic, and biomechanical injury constructs that may be utilized in defining the nature of a concussive head injury include:
    • Concussion may be caused either by a direct blow to the head, face, neck or elsewhere on the body with an “impulsive” force transmitted to the head.
    • Concussion typically results in the rapid onset of short-lived impairment of neurological function (e.g., headache, dizziness, amnesia) that resolves spontaneously. However, in some cases, signs and symptoms may develop over a number of hours (~24-48 hours).
    • Concussion may result in neuropathological changes, but the acute clinical symptoms largely reflect a functional disturbance rather than a structural injury and, as such, no abnormality is seen on standard or structural neuroimaging studies (i.e., MRI, CT scan).
    • Concussion results in a gradual set of clinical symptoms that may or may not involve loss of consciousness. Resolution of clinical and cognitive symptoms typically follows a sequential course.
    • It is important to note that in some cases signs and symptoms may be prolonged (protracted recovery).

    ¹McCrory, Paul, et al. "Consensus statement on concussion in sport: the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich, November 2012." British journal of sports medicine 47.5 (2013): 250-258.

  • When should the student go to the emergency room?

    The student should go immediately to the emergency room if he or she experiences any of the following signs or symptoms:
    • Loss of consciousness associated with the head injury
    • Headache that worsens                     
    • One pupil larger than the other                         
    • Convulsions or seizures                     
    • Weakness or numbness in arms or legs             
    • Irritability
    • Confusion
    • Slurred speech
    • Repeated vomiting
    • Unusual behavior
  • What are the signs and symptoms of a concussion?

    Any of the symptoms identified in the four following components can occur in isolation or together. Signs and symptoms may be experienced immediately or occur hours after the original impact (24-48 hrs.).

    HeadacheFeeling mentally “foggy”IrritableDrowsiness
    NauseaFeeling slowed downSadnessSleep more than usual
    VomitingDifficulty concentratingMore emotionalSleep less than usual
    Balance problemsDifficulty rememberingNervousnessDifficulty falling asleep
    DizzinessForgetful of recent information & conversations
    Visual ProblemsConfused about recent events
    FatigueAnswers questions slowyl
    Sensitivity to lightRepeats questions
    Sensitivity to noise
  • Does my son/daughter need to see a physician?

    California law requires any athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion to be immediately removed from the activity for the remainder of the day. The student is prohibited from returning to physical activity until they are evaluated and discharged by a licensed health care provider (MD) that is trained in the management of concussions. Once the athlete receives clearance from the MD, the student athlete is required to bring a copy of the clearance form to the CSUS Athletic Trainer (Patti). The Athletic Trainer makes the final decision for any CSUS student-athlete to return to a CSUS sport.

  • What should I expect when my student is home recovering?

    Following a concussion, there are many different protocols being researched; unfortunately, there is no perfect protocol that is effective for everyone. We have found that a strict protocol of immediate rest for the first 24-72 hours seems to benefit the concussed student. During that time period, all students should refrain from the following activities: cognitive - reading, computer screens, video games, texting, or any other social media; social activities - going to movies, dances, sporting events, large gatherings, concerts or any other activity with loud noises, bright lights, or head phones.

    “Increased rest and limited exertion are important to facilitate the patient’s recovery. Physicians should be cautious about allowing patients to return to driving, especially if the patient has problems with attention, processing speed, or reaction time. Patients should also be advised to get adequate sleep at night and to take daytime naps or rest breaks when significant fatigue is experienced. Symptoms typically worsen or re-emerge with exertion. Let any return of a patient’s symptoms be the guide to the level of exertion or activity that is safe.”²

    Finally, your child may feel frustrated, sad, and even angry because they cannot return to school right away, keep up with schoolwork, or hang out with their friends. Talk often with your child about the end goal and offer your support and encouragement.

    ²CDC Website - Heads Up Concussion/
  • Does CSUS perform any baseline preseason testing?

    We perform baseline neurocognitive tests (ImPACT) on all 9th and 11th grade students as another tool for concussions. ImPACT developers recommend schools conduct the assessment every other year due to the growth and development of the adolescent brain. To learn more about the ImPACT test, please visit the ImPACT test website.

  • When can the student return to academics (learning)?

    After the injury, the Athletic Trainer contacts the student’s teachers immediately; the student is suspended from academic work. Symptomatic students require active support and academic adjustments.

    While there are several published guidelines for returning to academics (return to learn), research also suggests that no two concussions are the same. We recognize the emphasis of the student’s recovery must focus on their individual needs. We consider student’s specific situations, along with the recommendations from the student’s treating physician, parent/guardian, and the CSUS Athletic Trainer. The Athletic Trainer formulates the daily plan to assist the student with their reentry into academics. The Athletic Trainer communicates this daily plan with the student’s teachers, coaches, parents, and administrators. The student is reassessed with the ImPACT test periodically with the goal for them to return to their baseline score; however, if a student returns to baseline and still has clinical symptoms, they will not be cleared for academics or physical activity.   

    Once the student is cleared for a full academic load, the Head of the Upper School sends out a Plan of Action to the student’s teachers. The Plan of Action document is completed by the student’s teachers to provide clarity and to assist the student as they navigate their way back to a full academic load. Each of the student’s teachers modifies the student’s academic work with the support of the Head of the Upper School, the advisor, and the Athletic Trainer.

  • When can the student return to sports (activity)?

    We follow a very strict return to play (physical activity – athletics, dance, music, or extra curricular activities) protocol. When a student has successfully returned to academics and has been cleared by an MD, the student begins the return to play physical protocol (minimum five days).

    The following steps have been outlined by the Centers for Disease Control (derived from the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport). The student progresses to the next step if he or she remains symptom free for 24 hours after the activity.

    • Step 1: Light Aerobic Exercise - The goal is to moderately increase the student’s heart rate (bike for 5 to 20 minutes). There is absolutely no weight lifting, jumping or sprinting during this phase.
    • Step 2: Moderate Exercise - The goal is to exercise with limited body and head movement (stationary bike with body weight resistance training).
    • Step 3: Non-contact Exercise - The goal is to increase the exercise intensity (jog, agility training, weight lifting).
    • Step 4: Non-contact Practice - The goal is to introduce them into a non-contact practice (yellow shirt).
    • Step 5: Full Practice - The goal is to participate in a full practice (supervised).
    NOTE - If any signs or symptoms are experienced during any of the stages, the student discontinues exercise immediately, waits 24 hours before he or she returns to the previous step. Depending on the signs or symptoms, the student may need to start the progression over.

  • What education is required of Coaches?

    In the fall of every school year all of the CSUS coaches receive concussion training that outlines CSUS concussion policies and protocols, signs and symptoms of a concussion, and how they can best support the needs of his or her injured athlete both on and off the field. In addition, all of our coaches are required to take the NFHS coaches concussion course. This course highlights the impact of sports-related concussion on athletes, teaches how to recognize a suspected concussion, and provides protocols to manage a suspected concussion with steps to help players. If a student sustains any type of head injury, coaches are required to contact the Athletic Trainer immediately.

  • What education is required of student-athletes?

    During the neurocognitive testing (ImPACT), all students are educated and counseled on the signs and symptoms of a concussion.

Safe Sports School

We are proud to announce that the National Athletic Trainers Association has awarded CSUS the Safe Sports School Award. This award is given to secondary schools with athletic health care facilities that are in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations to ensure that quality healthcare services are delivered.

First Aid Basics

List of 2 frequently asked questions.

  • What do I do for a Soft Tissue (muscle, ligament, tendon) injury?

    If your son or daughter has suffered an acute injury to a muscle, tendon, ligament, or other soft tissue, PLEASE follow the basic first aid principle: RICE.
    • Rest: Avoid moving or using the injured body part.
    • Ice: During the inflammation stage, approximately three days following the initial injury, apply ice (20 minutes) every one to two hours to the injured area.
    • Compression: Spiral an elastic wrap around the injured site. Apply the wrap with moderate compression. Only remove the wrap to ice the injured body part.
    • Elevation: Keep the affected area above the level of the heart to help reduce swelling.
    Things to remember:
    • If you use a gel pack, ALWAYS place the pack in a pillowcase/towel. NEVER place it directly on the skin!
    • Ice can be uncomfortable, burning, aching and create numbness (normal stages of icing).
    • Never put heat on an acute injury.
    Go to a medical doctor if you experience unbearable pain or throbbing, or if you experience a loss in sensation to the injured area for more than 20 minutes.

  • What are the signs of Heat Illness, and what should I do?

    Signs of Heat Illness
    • Headaches
    • Dizziness
    • Nausea
    • Muscle cramping
    If these symptoms persist or worsen, contact the Athletic Trainer or a medical doctor  immediately.

    • Tips to help re-hydrate and cool your body
    • Avoid any physical activity
    • Stay out of the sun
    • Remain in a cool environment
    • Drink plenty of fluids
    • No alcoholic or carbonated beverages
    • Do not skip any meals
    • Increase electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium) preferably through fruits, vegetables, or Gatorade type drink
    • Some athletes may need to add salt to his or her food to help retain water
    • Monitor your weight closely.
    • Urine needs to be pale (lemonade) in color, not dark (apple juice)
    Fluid Consumption
    • Consume 18-24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost during activity
    • Thirst is not an accurate indicator of fluids lost
    • Drink freely until re-hydrated, or until urine is clear
    Remember:  Hydration begins at least 24 hours prior to the sport/activity