While all efforts are made to avoid sports-related injuries, quick-moving, high-jumping, hard-hitting bodies are often drawn into contact through the nature of competitive games. Some injuries are easier to detect than others and recent research into the causes and effects of concussions has increased concussion awareness. More likely to happen in some sports than others, it's better to be prepared with the knowledge and background of medical professionals that can help avoid serious injury at all levels.
Recently, the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (OPHEA) refined their Concussion Protocols to reflect, "the most recent research and the guidelines outlined in the Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport, Zurich, November 2012." These updated guidelines will assist with,
- Concussion Management Procedures: Return to Learn and Return to Physical Activity
- Tools to Identify a Suspected Concussion
- Documentation of Medical Examination
- Documentation for a Diagnosed Concussion – Return to Learn/Return to Physical Activity Plan
To access the new concussion appendices please follow this link to the OPHEA Concussion Protocols Page
In addition, School Sport Canada offers FREE coaching courses available through this link to Programs on the OFSAA website under Coaching In Ontario Schools (CIOS) which include an excellent course called, "Concussion in Sports - What You Need To Know."
The description of the CIOS course says, "National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have teamed up to provide information and resources to help educate coaches, officials, parents and students on the importance of proper concussion recognition and management in high school sports. Mick Koester M.D., ATC, Chair of the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and Director of the Slocum Sports Concussion in Eugene, Oregon takes you through this course. In this course you will understand the impact sports-related concussion can have on your players, how to recognize a suspected concussion, the proper protocols to manage a suspected concussion, and steps to help your player return to play safely after experiencing a concussion."
Finally, if you're looking for the best of the best of expert advice on concussions, please consider attending the "2nd annual International Summit on Concussions: Prevention and Next Steps," which will be held at the Hilton Fallsview Hotel in Niagara Falls Ontario, on Thursday October 24, and Friday October 25, 2013 featuring world renowned keynote speakers.
This timely Summit will help guide in answering the following essential questions
- How conservative should you be (return to play) when you have to consider the child’s academic and emotional welfare: what comes first? How is that managed?
- How do you handle informed consent when neither the student nor their parent has any idea of the risk or consequences?
School sport is meant to be fun and educational, and a large part of that is safe participation. Administrators, coaches and students should be aware of concussion protocols and play safe.