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Swim England launch new concussion guidance for all of its sports

A new concussion guidance document has recently been launched by Swim England to ensure safety across all of its sports.

The new document leads with the message ‘if in doubt, sit them out’ and aims to help clubs, coaches, athletes and their parents to better understand concussion injuries.

It details the signs and symptoms of concussion, how to manage a head injury, followed by a staged return to sport when the time is right.

The guidance has been created following the developments in research around the topic of concussions across other sports, and using other available guidance documents as a basis.

It has been approved by Swim England’s medical advisor and has been sent out to all members and clubs affiliated with the national governing body.

Included within the guidance are example ‘return to training’ plans for both indoor and outdoor swimming as well as diving, water polo and artistic swimming.

However, it should be noted that any return to sport should be guided by an appropriately qualified medical practitioner.

If a head injury occurred during a different sport or activity, such as falling off a bike, the return to training guidance should still be adhered to.

Making people aware

George Wood, Swim England sport development director, said: “This is an important topic across all of our sports and we want to help our members identify the signs and symptoms of concussion and how best to manage head injuries.

“It is about looking after our athletes, ensuring their safety, and ensuring clubs and communities have the best way of looking after anyone who does suffer a concussion.”

Swim England’s sport science sport medicine manager, Diane Elliot, added: “Often, people may not think that concussion injuries occur within aquatics, so this piece of work has been about making people aware of what to look out for.

“We decided to develop this concussion guidance because, in addition to competing within our sports, we are also aware that we have a lot of athletes who take part in other sports or activities where concussion can sometimes occur.

“Therefore, this guidance applies whether an injury happens within aquatic sport or a different sport.”

To view and download both the summary document and the full concussion guidance document, click here.