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									Wake Up —a Reasonable Return                  For more information about the                                                   Wake Up to Concussion!
to Riding                                     management of concussion in
Recovery and management of concussion         sport, contact or log on to:
should follow physicians’ instructions. The
following are recommendations for “return
                                                  Brain Injury Association

                                                                                                                                                                    Photo courtesy of Patricia Maykuth
to play” in equestrian sports.                •
                                                  (800) 444-6442
How long should the rider wait before
riding again after a concussion?*

• Green Light – same day, only if no Key      •
  Signs or Symptoms after waiting 15
                                              •   Centers for Disease Control
• Yellow Light – 5-7 days after there are
   no Key Signs/Symptoms both at rest
   and during exertion, and being             •   USEA Safety Committee                                                         This brochure is to help people in the
   medically cleared by physician. Loss of        concussion@equestriansafety                                                   horse sports to recognize concussion
                                                                                                                                in the field so that medical assess-
                                                                                                                                                                                                         to CONCUSSION
   consciousness or more serious
   concussion may require two weeks or
                                                  .com.                                                                         ment and management can be pur-
   more free of Key Signs or Symptoms.                                                                                          sued.                                                                    The most common head
                                                                                                                                                                                                         injury in sport is concussion.

                                                                            Photo courtesy of United States Pony Clubs, inc.
• Red Light — After multiple concussions,                                                                                       Each rider is different and has an in-                                   Riding of any kind – not just
   it may be necessary for the rider to                                                                                         dividual medical history. The informa-
                                                                                                                                tion presented here should be used                                       jumping, ranks third in the
   discontinue the sport for the season. In
   rare occasions, the rider may need to                                                                                        for guidelines.     Diagnosis can be                                     number of concussions
   reconsider the sport.                                                                                                        made only by medical professionals.                                      sustained by adults. This
                                                                                                                                                                                                         brochure is designed to help
   Remember, all concussions count – it                                                                                                                                                                  riders recognize mild
   doesn’t matter if traumas to the head                                                                                                                                                                 concussion in the field so
   are caused by falls from horses, car                                                                                                                                                                  that appropriate medical
   accidents, other sports related injuries
   such as skiing or soccer, whiplash, or
                                                                                                                                                                                                         assessment              and
   falls against a hard surface like the                                                                                                                                                                 management can follow.
   floor, a rock or a tree.                         Sponsored through partnership of:

                                                    American Medical Equestrian Association-Safe
                                                    Riders Foundation
* Personal medical history or other
  conditions may indicate a longer waiting
                                                    United States Eventing Association
                                                                                                                 It’s no joke.                                                Be Smart! Ride Safe.
                                                    United States Equestrian Federation
                                                                                                                                                    WHAT IF THERE IS ANY LOSS OF
                                                     What are some Key Signs and                            Know your Green/Red/Yellow
                                                                                                                                                    CONSCIOUSNESS, even for a few
 What is Concussion?                                 Symptoms of Concussion?                                          Lights.                       seconds?
                                              • Feeling like “you had your bell rung” or getting                                                              RED LIGHT
Concussion is a brain injury caused               “dinged” or “seeing stars”                            What if the rider answers all the
                                                                                                        questions correctly and has none of the     •   Transport to medical facility for
by trauma to the head. 95% of                 • Not knowing what happened (little or no memory
                                                                                                        Key Signs or Symptoms?                          evaluation.
people who experience concussion                  just before and/or just after a fall)
do NOT have any loss of                       • Headache                                                              GREEN LIGHT
                                              • Loss of balance and/or equilibrium                      •   Rider can immediately continue with                  Wake UP
                                                                                                            the course.
Why Should I Care?                            • Dizziness                                                                                                    to Second Impact
                                              • Confusion                                               What if the rider misses questions or       During the recovery period from
Riding is a contact sport - just like                                                                   appears confused?                           concussion, people are at risk for other
football, soccer, skiing or boxing.           • Fuzzy and/or blurry vision                                                                          types of additional accident or injury. In a
Every rider may someday fall off and                                                                                YELLOW LIGHT
                                              • Poor concentration or inability to carry out a set of                                               fit, healthy person, a second trauma to an
hit their head on the ground or                   simple instructions                                   •   Rider ought to stop and be observed     already injured head that has not yet
another hard object. No matter                                                                              for 15 minutes.                         completely        healed       may     have
                                              • Drowsiness and/or fatigue                                                                           disproportional consequences. It does not
how good or
experienced the                               • Nausea and/or vomiting                                                                              matter how mild a second hit nor does it
rider, no matter                                                                                                                                    matter what causes a second trauma, hit,
                                              • Poor memory or forgetfulness about “routine”            What if the rider answers all the           snap or jerk to the head. It could be as
how gentle the                                    things like “losing” your keys                        questions correctly and has no Key Signs    simple as friendly slap on the back or being
horse, no matter                                                                                        or Symptoms after 15 minutes?
how safe the                                  • Irritability or unusual aggressiveness                                                              rear-ended in a traffic accident.
environment,                                  Almost all mild concussions occur without                              GREEN LIGHT
                                                                                                                                                    It is essential that the brain be given
anyone can hit                                any loss of consciousness.                                •   Rider can continue on course and        adequate time to “heal” from any
their head due to a                                                                                         can ride additional horse(s) in the     concussion.     The concussion, the head
                                              What Should I Do?
fall off their horse.                         Ask a rider immediately after s/he hits their head due
                                                                                                            competition.                            trauma, is what matters, not the fall from a
Even you.                                     to a fall, even if they do not appear to look                                                         horse, the traffic accident, another sports-
                                              symptomatic – dizzy, confused, out of balance, etc.:           What if one or more Key Signs or       related injury such as skiing, soccer, etc.
                    Pinehurst Gazette photo
                                                                                                            Symptoms persist after 15 minutes?
                                              •     What day is it?                                                                                 There are serious risks if the brain is not
Chances are you’ll never need to                                                                                       RED LIGHT
                                              •     What is the name of the                                                                         allowed to completely heal from a
know about concussions. Just in
                                                                                                        •   Rider’s competing day is over.          concussion. Second Impact can be
case you or someone you train,                      competition?                                                                                    catastrophic. Second Impact is no joke.
judge or watch falls off a horse and          •     In what place or town is the                        •   Rider should not be left alone at the
hits their head, here are some                                                                              barn, and…                              Protect yourself from repeated head injury
                                                    competition located?                                                                            before the original concussion has healed.
answers to commonly asked
questions about concussions, so that          •     What was your start time?                           •   Should consult a physician for          Do not ride or participate in any other sport
appropriate medical assessment and                                                                          evaluation at their earliest            until all symptoms of a first concussion are
                                              •     What number is your next fence?                         convenience                             totally and completely resolved.
management can follow—

                                                                                                                                                        Never “tough it out” after a concussion!

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