As summer begins to wind down and athletes and coaches set their sights on the fall sports seasons, many school and recreational athletic programs across the country are scrambling to comply with a host of new league guidelines and state laws implemented in the last year. Many of these laws, which were designed to protect young athletes from concussion and ensure proper care, require coaches, parents, athletes, and even health care providers, to receive education in concussion management.
Enter ConcussionWise™, a suite of online concussion education programs developed by Sport Safety International. The online course offerings – six in all – were designed to meet the needs of specific audiences. The course offerings include programs for parents, athletes, and coaches, which are all free, as well as professional education courses athletic trainers, physicians, and nurses. While other online concussion education programs have been available for some time, the ConcussionWise™ programs are believed to be the first to offer specific concussion education tailored to the different needs of individuals involved in prevention and management of concussions. “When it comes to concussion education, one size does not fit all” said Dr. Robb Rehberg, Executive Director of Sport Safety International and lead author of the ConcussionWise programs. “We felt it was important to address the issue of concussion education from different perspectives in order to make it more meaningful to the learner.” Courses range in length from 15 minutes (athletes) to two hours (health care providers). “We wanted to be sure to include the most important information for each audience, while at the same time presenting it in a succinct but effective program” Rehberg said.
While each course is tailored to their respective audiences, all courses focus on four critical areas: Prevention, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery/Return to Play. Currently, Sport Safety International offers the parent, athlete, and coach courses free of charge. Additionally, coaches and health care providers who complete the ConcussionWise™ online courses can opt-in to be listed in the ConcussionWise™ Registry, a searchable, online database of learners who have successfully completed the training.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention an estimated 1.6 to 3.8 million sports and recreation related concussions occur in the United States each year. Even more startling is the fact that as many as 2.25 million sports related concussion go undiagnosed each year. Rehberg believes this number can be significantly decreased through educational efforts such as ConcussionWise™.
In an effort to promote concussion education, Sport Safety International has partnered with five state athletic training organizations to offer the ConcussionWise™ program. These professional associations from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Florida, and Nebraska have partnered with Sport Safety International to bring concussion education to their respective states. Customized courses outlining state concussion laws have also been developed for some states. Sport Safety International is currently working with stakeholders in several states and countries to develop additional customized Concussion Wise™ programs.
ABOUT SPORT SAFETY INTERNATIONAL
The mission of Sport Safety International is to promote injury prevention and safe participation in physical activity and sports by providing the highest quality educational programming to athletes, parents, coaches, and sports medicine professionals.
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