Concussion information is available from so many different sources on the internet and through the media that it can result in information overload among the general public. Some articles and reports have caused alarm among parents making it difficult for them to know which issues are causes for concern and what they really need to know about concussion. Most parents want assurance that their children are being supervised by professionals who are well versed in the new understanding of concussion management.
Athletic trainers are in a unique position because they are medical professionals on-site at New Jersey high schools and can take a leadership role in facilitating education about concussion among their academic counterparts, students, and parents.
Taking the Lead
There are many things the athletic trainer can do to facilitate education on preventing, managing, and raising awareness about concussion at school and in the community.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Facilitate communication among parents, physicians, students and teachers to support a student athlete recovering from concussion.
- Advocate for improvements in the district’s concussion policy that clear protocols for concussion management are provided for students in grades K through 8 and for concussions that occur in school but outside of sports.
- Become knowledgeable about reliable resources and websites on concussion to share with individuals and the community when there is discussion about concussion issues.
- Provide information about educational programs available for teachers, administrators and the community
- Advise school staff about concussion materials that are available for distribution at school events
- Provide in-service trainings on concussion for coaches and physical education staff
- Be available to present concussion information at parent-teacher meetings, or community educational events