By Keith Abrams
Many years ago, an athlete who complained of dizziness or a headache after suffering a blow to the head may have gotten a playful laugh from a teammate or a “Shake it off, you’ll be all right!” from a coach or parent.
This would usually be followed by a friendly tap on the shoulder pads or butt as the athlete ran back onto the playing field. This happened often, and unfortunately, it sometimes still happens today.
The overall awareness of concussions in youth sports has increased a great deal over the last several years, and it continues to improve with the help of concussion experts Gerard A. Gioia, PhD and Jason Mihalik, PhD who have developed the Concussion Recognition & Response™ (CRR) mobile app for coaches and parents.
This app was developed to help coaches and parents recognize and respond to an athlete or child who may be suffering from concussion symptoms. It’s a great tool for the team parent or coach to have on the sideline, but it’s NOT a substitute for a medical professional such as a certified athletic trainer.
The Concussion Recognition & Response app is consistent with the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who emphasize that non-medical persons should focus on recognition and response rather than on diagnosis or treatment of a suspected sports concussion.
The CRR app provides coaches and parents with a quick assessment tool that can help determine the likelihood that an athlete has sustained a concussion.
This easy-to-use app guides the user through a series of questions, and in less than 5 minutes, it provides recommendations for the next course of action.
In addition, it provides home symptom monitoring, which allows parents to monitor their child in the hours, days, or weeks following an injury. Other features of the CRR app include GPS tracking (location of incident), instant communication (e-mail report to physician or certified athletic trainer), an exercise plan (guidelines for return to play), and post-concussion follow-up (home and school care).
The Concussion Recognition & Response app costs $3.99 and is available for the iPhone®, iPad®, and iPod® Touch (Apple® App StoreSM) as well as for Android™ devices and tablets (Google Play).
It’s a great tool to assist coaches and parents with recognizing and responding to concussion symptoms on the sidelines or at home. The CRR app is definitely a worthy, must-have purchase for coaches and parents.
Keith Abrams is a certified athletic trainer who helps sporting event coordinators locate qualified and certified athletic trainers (www.athletictrainer4hire.com). You can reach Keith at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @athtrainer4hire.