The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to address the issue of concussion in sports as more than 700,000 individuals have taken the “Concussion in Sports – What You Need to Know” free online course through the NFHS Coach Education Program.
The “Concussion in Sports – What You Need to Know” course was developed by the NFHS and CDC in May 2010. The course, which is available at www.nfhslearn.com, provides an overview of how a person can recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion and the appropriate action to take. The course includes each state’s return-to-play guidelines required for high schools.
The NFHS has been a leader among national sports organizations in establishing guidelines to deal with concussions. In 2008, the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee advocated that a concussed athlete must be removed from play and not allowed to play on the same day. For the past three years, all NFHS rules publications have contained guidelines for the management of a student exhibiting signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion.
“This concussion course provides useful tools and information to thousands of individuals every month,” said Tim Flannery, NFHS director of coach education. “Many of our state associations are requiring coaches to take this important course, which is beneficial to the ongoing goal of minimizing risk of injury for our nation’s student-athletes.”
The concussion course is hosted by Michael Koester, M.D., former chair of the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and director of the Sports Concussion Program at the Slocum Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Eugene, Oregon. Individuals have access to the course’s printable resources, including a parent’s guide to concussion in sports, a coach’s guide, an athlete fact sheet and materials to implement a protocol for concussion treatment.
The NFHS Coach Education Program offers 31 online courses, including the two core courses – “Fundamentals of Coaching” and “First Aid, Health and Safety for Coaches.” The NFHS also offers 13 sport-specific courses and 16 elective courses, including seven that are free.
All NFHS Coach Education Program courses are available at www.nfhslearn.com.