The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) applauds and encourages the growing research in the area of concussion protection for athletes, including the work released this month by Virginia Tech. Coaches, consumers and parents should be aware that while the STAR rating system suggests the purchase of specific football helmets, scientific evidence does not support the claim that a particular helmet brand or model is more effective in reducing the occurrence of concussive events.
Brain injuries in youth sports have been on the rise in recent years, alarming many parents about the lifelong effects of concussions. The number of brain injuries linked to American youth increased 62 percent between the years of 2001 and 2009, with reported incidents around 250,000 in 2009 (Obama, NFL, NCAA Get Behind Research into Concussions in Youth Sports: Insurance Journal, May 29, 2014).
The nation’s largest doctors’ group adopted that as policy this week at its annual meeting in Chicago. AMA members say cheerleading is as rigorous as many other activities that high schools and the NCAA consider sports. Adding it to the list would mean more safety measures for cheerleaders and proper training for their coaches.
Cheerleading is a leading cause of catastrophic injury in female athletes at the high school and college level, Dr. Samantha Rosman, a Boston-area pediatrician, told AMA delegates during floor debate before the vote.
“These girls are flipping 10, 20 feet in the air,” Rosman said. “We need to stand up for what is right for our patients and demand they get the same protection as their football colleagues.”
Matanzas junior Bailee Hurd sat out two varsity lacrosse games in 2014, sidelined with a concussion she suffered during a chippy midseason contest against Buchholz. Flagler Palm Coast coach James Hackett says he hasn’t witnessed a player sustain a concussion in his three years at the Bulldogs’ helm.
Both are against the June 10 FHSAA ruling mandating the wearing of helmets in girls lacrosse starting in 2015. The decision was made after the Board weighed sport-specific injury data provided by Orange County, public testimony and a presentation by US Lacrosse, a national body that governs the sport at the preps level, FHSAA spokesperson Corey Sobers said.
WAYNE, NJ – Having educated over 93,000 people from 23 countries in over 120,000 online sport safety courses since 2011, Sport Safety International announced today that it has launched a new initiative that a will arm those who provide concussion education with new tools to get the job done.
The Concussion Wise ™ Instructor program the first comprehensive, nationally standardized concussion education program in the United States that is specifically designed to prepare instructors to educate coaches, parents and athletes about the prevention and initial care of sports related concussion.
“There is an overabundance of informational material available in print and online regarding concussion prevention and management.” says Dr. Robb Rehberg, co-founder of Sport Safety International and creator of the ConcussionWise program. “However, to date there are no standardized programs designed to prepare those responsible for educating coaches, parents, and athletes that ensure current, accurate and consistent information is being used.” Rehberg says all Concussion Wise ™ courses are based on the latest recommendations and guidelines, including those developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, National Athletic Trainers’ Association, American Academy of Neurology, and the recommendations from the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport (Zurich 2012).
Think CPR training, but for Concussion
Rehberg sees many parallels between concussion education and early CPR education, citing that concussion management and CPR are both based on universally accepted recommendations and guidelines that are reviewed periodically by experts, and updated based on the latest research. “For over 40 years, the delivery of standardized, consistent education how to respond to a cardiac emergency has been delivered quite effectively through standardized education programs delivered by trained CPR instructors, and as a result, many lives have been saved.” Rehberg says. What we’ve done is taken the CPR instructor model and used it to create a program through which instructors can offer standardized concussion education without having to piece together a course on their own. We believe this result will be course participants who are better prepared to prevent, recognize, and provide initial care for athletes suffering from concussion. Think CPR training, but for concussion prevention and management.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 173,285 sports and recreation related traumatic brain injuries sustained by children and adolescents are treated in emergency departments in the United States each year. In response to the growing concern over concussion in youth athletes, laws designed to help prevent and properly manage sports related concussions have been enacted in all 50 states. Education of coaches, parents, athletes and coaches is an important component of the laws. The concern over concussions prompted President Obama to hold a summit on sports safety and concussions at the White House late last month.
Rehberg says that after successfully completing the instructor program, Concussion Wise ™ Instructors are authorized to teach using the Concussion Wise ™ Live video and presentation materials, which are based on the organization’s popular online courses of the same name. Additionally, all course participants receive a certificate of completion. Coaches who complete the program are also eligible to be listed on the Concussion Wise ™ Registry, an online searchable database of coaches who are Concussion Wise ™ trained.
The first Concussion Wise ™ Instructor program will be held on June 23 in Indianapolis, the site of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association 65th Clinical Symposia and AT Expo. For more information on the Concussion Wise ™ Instructor program, visit www.ConcussionWise.com/instructor .
As President Barack Obama held a summit on the dangers of concussions, particularly in youth sports, a Pennsylvania school made the momentous decision to ban heading by its young soccer players.
In coordination with leading experts in the field, Bryn Mawr (Pa.) Shipley School administrators made the decision to outlaw a practice that has long been a staple of the most popular sport in the world, citing an increased amount of evidence that shows repeated heading of a soccer ball can cause lasting effects.
Much of the conversation concerning kids and concussions has so far focused on football. Now the American Academy of Pediatrics says the number of dangerous injuries in youth ice hockey is on the rise, and the group is offering new recommendations that would change the way the sport is played.
According to USA Hockey, the governing body for youth hockey in the United States, more that 350,000 boys and girls lace up the skates in the U.S. And for boys ages 13 and older, checking is a big part of the game.
Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin will be part of a major study on sports concussions.
President Obama announced the $30 million study Thursday along with the partnership between the NCAA and Department of Defense.
“We’ve got to have every parent, coach and teacher recognize the signs of concussions,” President Obama said.
Along with the University of Michigan and Indiana University School of Medicine, researches at the Medical College of Wisconsin will track 1,200 Division I NCAA athletes for three years using sensors and cutting-edge technology.
Three weeks ago, Scottsdale’s Julia Taffuri took a ball to the face while competing in Southern California with her Sereno Soccer Club team. After being knocked to the ground, she popped back up, dusted herself off and finished the half.
When she returned to the sideline, however, she started repeating herself and asking unlikely questions, including, “Where are we?” Her coaches immediately pulled her from the game, fearing what was confirmed later that day in a hospital: She had suffered a concussion.
Concussions remain one of the biggest issues facing rugby, but the sport is finding it a struggle to find even enough former players to take part in a study into the long-term effects of head trauma.
One study at the Auckland University of Technology hoped to look at 600 former athletes, 35 to 55 years old, from several sports popular in New Zealand: 200 former top-level rugby players, 200 former recreational rugby players and 200 former cricket and field hockey players. The study was begun in August 2012, and researchers had hoped to turn over a final report to the International Rugby Board a year later, in September of 2013.