Posted: Tue, 9 May 2023 14:27
Participants in grassroots sports will be better protected from the potentially devastating effects of head injuries and concussion thanks to new official guidelines advising: 'if in doubt, sit them out'.
The Government and the Sport and Recreation Alliance has publushed the first UK-wide Concussion Guidelines for Grassroots Sport which will help players, coaches, parents, schools, National Governing Bodies and sports administrators to identify, manage and prevent the issue.
The guidelines, developed by an expert panel of domestic and international clinicians and academics in neurology and sports medicine, sets out steps to improve understanding and awareness of the prevention and treatment of concussion in grassroots sport where trained medical professionals are less likely to be routinely present. It is targeted at people of all ages.
'If in doubt, sit them out' is the strapline, making clear no-one should return to sport within 24 hours of a suspected concussion and builds on guidance already introduced in Scotland.
Players, parents, coaches, teachers and administrators are now asked to read the guidance and familiarise themselves with the necessary steps to:
- RECOGNISE the signs of concussion;
- REMOVE anyone suspected of being concussed immediately and;
- RETURN safely to daily activity, education/work and, ultimately, sport.
The guidelines include a recommendation to call NHS 111 within 24 hours of a potential concussion, to rest and sleep as much as needed for the first 24 to 48 hours and avoid using devices which involve screen time.
In addition, a graduated return to activity such as work, education and sport is advised to reduce the risks of slow recovery, further brain injury and longer-term problems. Individuals should be assessed by an appropriate healthcare professional if symptoms persist for more than four weeks.
Lisa Wainwright MBE, CEO, Sport and Recreation Alliance said:
"Concussion is a serious issue and we must always strive to make sport as safe as possible for all those who take part at a grassroots level in clubs, schools and many other settings every week across the UK.
The Sport and Recreation Alliance is pleased to have supported the development of these guidelines which will ensure there is a consistent, evidence-based approach to concussion in sport across all four home nations.
When it comes to concussion, the message is clear: if in doubt, sit them out."
Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England and Chief Medical Adviser to the UK Government said:
"These guidelines help players, referees, schools, parents and others balance the substantial health and social benefits and enjoyment from taking part in sport with minimising the rare but serious and potentially lifelong effects of concussion."
Source & Image: Sport & Recreation Alliance