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New concussion guidelines for schools and sports clubs

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Schools, colleges and sports clubs in the UK have been offered a new set of guidelines on how to deal with concussion.

The advice was drawn up by the Forum on Concussion in Sport and Physical Education in conjunction with the Sport and Recreational Alliance. It sets out the importance of good management of concussion, how to recognise the condition, how to respond to it and how to ensure a child or young person returns safely to their education and sport.

Experts say the guidelines will provide a consistent and suitable management protocol to those working with children and alleviate parental concerns around the safety of school sport.

Emma Boggis, chief executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance and chair of the Forum, said: “Concussion must be taken extremely seriously to safeguard the long-term health and welfare of children, young people and adults. The guidelines are based on a shared desire to help people identify and appropriately respond to incidents of concussion and we hope they will be welcomed and importantly acted upon.”

Mike England, community rugby medical director for the Rugby Football Union, added: “This has been a ground-breaking initiative, with sport, education and health coming together to address a very important issue. We hope teachers will find these guidelines useful, as it is imperative that those working in the education sector know how to recognise concussion and take action. If I had to pick out one key message it would be: if in doubt sit them out.”

The new guidelines are available at: http://www.sportandrecreation.org.uk/concussion-guidelines.

The Forum on Concussion in Sport and Physical Education includes major national sports governing bodies, representative bodies and medical experts. It is supported by the Department for Education, the Department of Health and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Members include the Rugby Football Union, the Football Association, England and Wales Cricket Board, England Hockey, Rugby League, Association of Physical Education, Youth Sports Trust and Sport England.