Safer Sports, which is part of Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino's ongoing Safer Communities initiative, encourages proper management of sports related injuries.
As part of the new initiative, Astorino created the Westchester County Concussion Task Force to develop a model program that will be available to high schools voluntarily to help them address the full spectrum of managing sports-related concussions. The focus of this program is on education, prevention, diagnosis and management.
Concussions among high school students pose both a public health and mental health concern. While there have been great strides in understanding concussions, developing concussion protocols, and improving safety rules and equipment, there is still room for improvement, especially with respect to post-injury management on the inter-scholastic sports level.
In addition to the study, the Task Force put together a brochure, that defines 10 Best Practices on ways to improve how schools can deal with concussions in interscholastic sports, especially with respect to post-injury management.
The brochure, available to all schools, offers everything from training opportunities for coaches and athletes to resources for parents and where to find help.
Some facts in the Task Force brochure includethe following:
- An estimated 45 million children and adolescents participate in organized and recreational sports activity.
- Approximately 85 percent of concussion patients recover quickly and fully. And most recovery takes place in the first 30 days.
- New research indicates that children and adolescents are more prone to delayed recovery because of their developing brains.
- In approximately 10-15 percent of cases symptoms persist, which can result in significant ongoing disability and adjustment problems. The cause of such ongoing problems, termed the persistent post-concussive syndrome, remains a subject of much debate.
- All 50 states have concussion laws that relate to removing students from game situations. The Concussion Management and Awareness Act of NY, signed in 2012, was a great first step, but there many issues that warrant further attention.
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