New guidelines on how to manage concussion in sport have been launched at Hampden Park with the overriding message - if in doubt, sit them out!
The Scottish FA medical team were joined at the National Stadium by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scottish Rugby Union and the sportscotland institute of sport, who have all worked collaboratively to produce the new set of guidelines.
The launch means that all sports in Scotland will now have a standardised method of dealing with concussion with clear instructions on recovery and a phased return to play for injured players.
Team Doctor for the Scotland National Team Dr John MacLean said the guidelines will help to make things clearer for those involved in sport:
“The Scottish Football Association supports an ongoing programme of Sports First Aid training in football and these guidelines complement this knowledge.
“Concussion is a serious brain injury and the guidelines make the recognition of concussion and return to play clear for all involved in grassroots sport. If in doubt - sit them out”.
A key part of the guidelines involves developing a better understanding of concussion and the risks around it, particularly with regard to children and young adults.
Concussion Campaigner Peter Robinson, from Northern Ireland, whose son Ben died in 2011 as a result of sustaining a double concussion during a school rugby match when he was only 14 years old, was at Hampden Park to support the launch.
He said: “Awareness of the dangers of concussion in sport is improving since we lost Ben but there’s still a long way to go, both in grassroots and professional sport. For too long concussion has not been taken seriously, and that has to change.
“With these guidelines we want to help those involved in sport, any sport, to recognise the signs of concussion and know how to deal with it there and then. If you have any doubts then don’t take the risk, sit them out and get them checked out.
“We are not saying that you shouldn’t take part in sport, far from it, there are many benefits to taking part in sport. However there are ways to make it safer and what could be more important than that?”
Full Scottish Sports Concussion Guidance can be found at the sportscotland website