While mouthguards and headgear protect against some facial and head injuries, they do not adequately protect against concussions. In fact, some athletes derive a false sense of security from this protective equipment and are more apt to take risks.
A contentious issue in the sports world is how soon an athlete can return to play after sustaining a concussion. Therefore, appropriate medical guidelines on this topic are vital. These were recently developed at the Fourth International Conference on Concussion in Sport.
The guidelines include a concussion recognition tool, and a precise definition of a concussion. They discuss concussions in children as well as guidelines for treatment. In addition to the guidelines, the conference attendees also developed a question and answer guide, symptoms checkers, and assessment tools, as well as a statement about the likelihood of certain protective equipment to reduce the risk of sustaining a concussion.
McCrory, P. Consensus statement on concussion in sport: the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich, November 2012. British Journal of Sports Medicine (March 2013).