Kids, parents, teachers, and coaches will be better protected from concussion in sport than ever before thanks to new Australian Concussion Guidelines for Youth and Community Sport.

The guidelines were developed in a collaboration between the Australian Institute of Sport, Sports Medicine Australia, the Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians, and the Australian Physiotherapy Association. They bring together the most contemporary evidence-based information on concussion for athletes, parents, teachers, coaches and healthcare practitioners. 

The Australian Institute of Sport return to sport protocols for community and youth sport include: 

  • Introduction of light exercise after an initial 24-48 hours of relative rest. 
  • Several checkpoints to be cleared prior to progression. 
  • Gradual reintroduction of learning and work activities. As with physical activity, cognitive stimulation such as using screens, reading, undertaking learning activities should be gradually introduced after 48 hours. 
  • At least 14 days symptom free (at rest) before return to contact/collision training. The temporary exacerbation of mild symptoms with exercise is acceptable, as long as the symptoms quickly resolve at the completion of exercise, and as long as the exercise-related symptoms have completely resolved before resumption of contact training. 
  • A minimum period of 21 days until the resumption of competitive contact/collision sport. 
  • Consideration of all symptom domains (physical, cognitive, emotional, fatigue, sleep) throughout the recovery process. 
  • Return to learn and work activities should take priority over return to sport. That is, while graduated return to learn/work activities and sport activities can occur simultaneously, the athlete should not return to full contact sport activities until they have successfully completed a fully return to learn/work activities. 

For further information, click here.