Do you remember the last time you were watching your child play a sport and someone got hurt? Depending on the sport, the child and the extent of the injury, results can vary. A quick clip in a soccer game can send a grade schooler to the Emergency Room with a broken ankle. A bad tackle on the football field on Friday night can leave a loved one paralyzed for the rest of their lives.
However, it’s not always the nature of the accident but how it was handled, that can turn a seemingly innocent injury to a serious accident. Luckily, governing bodies on state sports like the Illinois High School Association have invested in research and training, to provide student athletes with proper care. Twice a year, a panel of physicians, athletic trainers, chiropractors and coaches meet to discuss the latest research and develop protocols. In fact, as recently as April 2017, the board re-examined the need for additional medical personnel available to both soccer and football teams. The report goes into detailed recommendations about the reporting of concussions, advancements in healthcare and education for team captains and student athletes.
As a result, the IHSA states:
“Any athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion or spinal cord injury, shall be immediately removed from the contest and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health care professional.”
The take-away lesson from this statement is simple – if you are not a qualified healthcare professional trained in first aid and emergent care – find help first and foremost. Look for the signs of injury – reactive pupils, severe pain, inability or unwillingness to move from a lying position – indicative of a head, neck or back injury. If signs aren’t so obvious, always error on the side caution.
These state rules may seem cumbersome, but they are designed to help those in charge, make more informed decisions. If you have any questions related to sports or athletic training, make an appointment with Dr. Fast – Doctor of Chiropractic and Certified Sports Trainer.