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New concussion guidelines published for grassroots sport

The guidance establishes ‘If in doubt, sit them out’ as the new call to action to anyone involved in sport (Image: Sport England)

No-one should return to sport within 24 hours of a suspected concussion, according to new guidelines published by the Government and the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

The first ever UK-wide concussion guidance aim to help people identify, manage and prevent concussion affecting players in grassroots sport – with the main message being ‘if in doubt, sit them out’.

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.

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.

Sports Minister Stuart Andrew said: “Sport keeps us healthy and active but it is not without risk and major injuries to the head can and do happen. Research has shown the importance of fast and effective tailored treatment and we are issuing expert guidance to help people spot and treat head injuries.

“Whether used in a local leisure centre during a swimming lesson or on a village green during a cricket match, the guidance will make a real difference to people’s lives.”

The guidance document can be accessed and downloaded here.

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