The Centers for Disease Control have reached out to us at The Concussion Blog. They are interested in publishing information via our blog, which I am both honored and flattered to be considered. I am getting nothing in return, although I would love to be on their panel of concussion experts that help form plans, what the CDC gets is another avenue to disseminate information (no Irv and Matt I am not selling out).
I am more than happy to help out, but remember that this is information for everyone to take on their own, TCB does not always endorse all material from third-parties. However giving the reader more information to digest is EXACTLY what we set out to do from the beginning of this blog.
Without further ado here is the recent CDC message;
Getting more eyes on the fieldThere is a lot going on during the course of any practice or game. In some sports there can be more than 20 athletes on the field at one time. And these athletes don’t stay in one place. Just the opposite. Athletes are constantly running, kicking, diving, jumping, and throwing, among other things, with all of their might to help win the game or event. And in the midst of all of this activity, there may only be one athletic trainer who is responsible for their health and safety who is carefully watching for injuries.So what happens when an athletic trainer is busy caring for an injured athlete and misses an athlete taking a hit to the head? Or what if an athlete at hit by the ball out of view of the athletic trainer that causes him or her to act dizzy and is slow to get up? Well, unfortunately, many times that means that injury my go unnoticed and uncared for unless it is reported by a coach, parent, teammate, or the athlete themself. This is particularly important when it comes to concussion because athletes and others may not know the concussion signs, may just try to “shake it off,” or even hide their injury to stay in the game.Recently, the NFL added video monitors on sidelines to help medical staff in diagnosing and treating injuries, as well as independent certified athletic trainers at all games to watch players from the press box. These athletic trainers really serve as “eyes-in-the-sky” to watch for injuries and then call down to either team if a concussion or other injury is suspected. So far the NFL reports they are getting more injury reports with these extra eyes on the field.While these technologies are not available for high school and youth programs, I hope that this at least sends a strong message about the importance of concussion safety and results in a trickled down effect. As the more trained eyes on the field, the better.So what if there is no athletic trainer at all, which is all too common for many high school and youth leagues across the country? Coaches and parents are responsible for being those eyes on the field. Every coach and parent should carry concussion information with them on every sideline and bench– including a list of concussion signs and symptoms and CDC’s 4-step Heads Up Action Plan. CDC makes it easy for you by providing free (yes, free) clipboards, pockets, fact sheets, –pretty much any format—that includes this information. All you have to do is order from their website. You might as well order a couple of each for other coaches and parents just in case you can’t be at every practice or game. Remember, the more eyes on the field spotting a potential concussion, the more likely we can keep our athletes healthy and active in sports.