Guidelines for Concussion Policy Development
As part of a broader risk management plan, all sporting clubs should have concussion policy and management guidelines in place.
Concussion injuries are common in many sports and recreational activities. It is important that best practice concussion management is implemented to ensure the welfare of the player in the short and long term.
A concussion policy outlines how concussion will be managed on game day as well follow up management post game. A comprehensive policy will also address preventative measures prior to the game including pre-season medical checks, rule changes and the use of protective equipment.
An effective concussion policy will include:
- Information on concussion as a mild traumatic brain injury that causes a disturbance in brain function.
- Outlines the protocol for the management of concussion across all levels of the sporting club (Prevention, Game-day, post Game and return to play)
- Outlines the concussion management training for all medical and support personnel
- Recommended return to play and school protocols.
- A Medical Release Form (for clearance to play)
Developing the Concussion Policy
In developing a sport concussion policy suitable for your club, you should consider the following;
- Policy requirements from your governing body e.g. State Sporting Association
- Type of Sport (contact versus non-contact sport)
- Best Practice information
- Age of participants
Communicating your Concussion Policy
Clear and concise policy guidelines for concussion needs to be communicated across all levels of a sporting clubs including;
- club administrators
- medical personnel (doctors, physiotherapists, nurses)
- support personnel (sports trainers, first aid)
- parents and supporters
Your concussion policy should be reviewed and updated every 12 months