Long the pacesetter in youth sports safety, Little League has again taken the lead with the development of ASAP (A Safety Awareness Program). With the help of corporate sponsors Musco Lighting and AIG Insurance Companies, ASAP has created a network of more than 5600 safety officers working together for safety.
ASAP is a grass roots program based on communication of ideas. Leagues across the country contribute their safety ideas to ASAP News, a colorful, monthly newsletter. Safety officers can then find out what their peers are doing to make things "safer for the kids."
A safety officer in Georgia may see what a Nebraska league did to maintain safety during a heat wave. A safety officer in California whose concession stand is less than orderly may use the plan for concession stand safety submitted by a New Jersey league.
Introduced in 1994, ASAP has already increased Little League's overall safety awareness and reduced insurance costs for participating leagues. This summer, the annual ASAP Awards will recognize the leagues with the best safety programs.
For more ASAP information, call the ASAP Hotline at 800-811-7443 or
. Be sure to include your name and postal address in addition to your e-mail address. You can also access the League Safety Officer Program Kit right here on the Little League Web Site!
You asked for it...here it is. All you need to know about concussions, but were afraid to ask....
A concussion is an injury to the brain that can cause a variety of symptoms. It's usually caused by a blow to the head. Most of the time it doesn't involve a loss of consciousness.
Concussion in sports can happen during drills, practices and games. Injuries during practice can be just as serious as those that happen during competition.
What are some signs of a concussion?
After a blow to the head, talk to your doctor if you have any of the following signs of concussion:
* Vision disturbance
* Loss of balance
* Memory loss (called amnesia)
* Ringing in the ears
* Difficulty concentrating
* Feeling foggy or groggy
* Sensitivity to light or noise
How is it diagnosed?
First a doctor will examine you. The doctor will want information from people who were there when the blow to the head happened. This is very important, especially if you're confused or if you lost your memory. The doctor will test your strength, sensation, balance, reflexes and memory. In more serious cases, your doctor will want to get special x-rays of your head, called computed tomographic (CT) scans or magnetic resonance images (MRI).
Does medicine help?
The treatment for a concussion is rest. If you have a concussion, you will need to quiet your mind as well as your body for healing to take place. If you have a headache, you can usually take acetaminophen (brand name: Tylenol). If you've had a concussion, always ask your doctor before you take any medicine. If it’s suspected you've had a concussion, your doctor may advise against taking aspirin, ibuprofen (brand names: Advil, Motrin) or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These medicines can increase the risk of bleeding.
What should I watch out for?
Tell your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
* Stiff neck
* Difficulty walking, speaking or using your arms
* Severe headache
* Repeated vomiting
* Confusion that gets worse
* Unusual sleepiness
When can I return to sports?
If you have any of the signs or symptoms of concussion listed above after a blow to the head or body, you should not go back to play the day of the injury. A health care professional, experienced in evaluating for concussion, needs to let you know when it is safe to return to play. If your concussion involves memory loss or loss of consciousness, you may not be able to return to play for 1 to 2 weeks. After a severe concussion, you may not be able to return to play for a month. If this wasn't your first concussion, your return to play may take even longer.
What are the risks of returning to play too early?
A player returning too early could suffer from "second impact syndrome," which can be fatal. A second blow to the head, even a minor one, can cause a loss of control of blood flow to the brain. Never return to a sports activity until you are cleared by a doctor.
Are there any lasting effects to a concussion?
Most people get better after a concussion without any permanent damage. Some people have signs of concussion for weeks or months. Repeated concussions can cause permanent damage. After several concussions, your doctor may talk with you about changing sports.