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home : columns : joel alvstad
September 23, 2019

7/26/2019 9:17:00 AM
Concussion baseline testing is important

Joel Alvstad
Sports Editor

Windom Area High School will be conducting concussion baseline testing for participants in all Windom school activities.
The tests will be administered in the WAHS computer lab throughout the day on Aug. 9. Tests take roughly 40 minutes to complete.
The baseline tests are required by the school every two years. They are also required for anyone active in an extra-curricular activity - not just sports, but things like the fall musical.
Because they are required every two years, they are typically taken by anyone entering grades 7, 9 and 11. They are also required more frequently if a student has had a concussion in the past.
You might think that testing that often, or testing students not involved in sports, might be overkill. I don't feel that way.
The test establishes a healthy baseline for a student. So if the student sustains a concussion in a sport, or something like a piece of the musical set falls on their head during practice, the student retakes the test to determine if they can safely return to action or if they need further rest and recovery.
The test measures brain activity, reaction time and recall and is a valuable tool for medical staff in evaluating recovery from a brain injury.
No activity is injury-proof and the fact the district tests all its participants in extra-curriculars to establish a baseline is evidence that no activity is completely concussion-proof, either.
But with more awareness and better treatment, we've started to see better detection and better treatment of brain injuries, which allows students to make a complete recovery and return to action.
If you need to do a baseline test and cannot take the test on Aug. 9, contact Dane Nielsen at 831-6910 to set up a time to take the test.

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