Headway, the brain injury services and support organisation, has conducted further national research* at a school level in the area of concussion, having last month teamed up with Ireland’s leading GAA, soccer and rugby player unions to launch Concussion Aware, a campaign in association with laya healthcare and supported by Life Style Sports.
Only 41% of school pupils believe they could recognise the signs of a concussion, according to the latest survey for Headway carried out by Amárach Research. This represents yet another demonstration of the lack of knowledge and awareness young people have in understanding concussion and head injuries.
This confusion is further highlighted by the fact that two thirds of students surveyed do not know that a concussion can be sustained even if the individual does not fall unconscious, a common misconception. Furthermore, 76% of students think that a concussion is sustained from a bang to the head alone, again conveying misperceptions of the signs and symptoms of concussion injuries.
#ConcussionAware, backed by Ireland’s top sports stars, is calling for schools and clubs nationwide to ensure adequate procedures are in place to deal with concussion injuries and is based on the simple message: “If in doubt, sit it out.”
Headway are urging athletes of all levels nationwide to show their support of Concussion Aware by wearing uniqely designed elite performance bootlaces, which have been created especially for the campaign and are now on sale in Life Style stores nationwide and online, the perfect stocking-filler for Christmas. 100% of the proceeds go directly to Headway and to raising further awareness of the dangers of concussion.
Last October, Seamus Coleman, Ireland soccer captain; Johnny Cooper, Dublin footballer; Luke Fitzgerald, former Leinster Rugby player and Kate Keaney, Donegal GAA Ladies footballer issued a nationwide plea to coaches nationwide and athletes of all ages to mind their heads and to remember, ‘If in doubt, sit it out’.
The campaign has also been supported by Noelle Healy, Dublin Ladies Football captain; Isa Nacewa, Leinster Rugby and All-Black legend; Aidan O’Shea, Mayo GAA; Sean Gannon, Dundalk FC; Deirdre Murphy, Dublin Ladies full-back; and Seamus Callanan, Tipperary hurler.
The student survey findings also raise concern for the adequacy of the procedures currently in place in local schools and sports clubs to deal with a concussion. A mere 30% of students feel that the protocols in practice are sufficient to deal with such an injury.
The findings highlight the need for a certain set of safeguard procedures in order to ensure individuals take appropriate action on a possible concussion. In a match setting, 22% of students said they would continue to play on unless told otherwise, despite having sustained a blow to the head or body and while feeling dizzy or unbalanced.
For further information and for the full survey results, visit www.concussionaware.ie and check out the campaign on Headway Ireland’s Facebook where you can download your personalised Concussion Aware frame to show your support.
The specially designed bootlaces are now available at a Life Style near you or at www.lifestylesports.com retailing at the special price of €3.