The Ulster Town Board last week voted unanimously to pass stricter concussion guidelines for some community organized leisure activities for young people.
During a City Council meeting on Thursday, November 17, Supervisor James E. Quigley III said the two resolutions related to concussion policies came about during insurance reviews of municipal risk management protocols.
The first specifically includes a concussion policy for the city’s youth basketball program that provides procedures for dealing with head injuries and concussions to protect the health and safety of players.
“Insurance carriers are concerned about the possibility of a concussion at sporting events,” Quigley said. “This policy is being shared with all coaches in our Biddy basketball league to be familiar with it and to ensure they understand how to treat a concussion should it occur.”
The policy includes a step-by-step process for recognizing and responding to head injuries and identifying those who are able to treat people who sustain such an injury, including licensed medical practitioners, athletic trainers in consultation with physicians, nurse practitioners and neuropsychologists in coordination with the physician who manages an athlete’s recovery.
In addition, the policy emphasizes that the best approach to dealing with a traumatic head injury is to do whatever is necessary to prevent it from occurring in the first place. These recommendations include minimizing exercise or language that encourages “hardness”; Encourage avoidance of gross or intentional fouls that may put opponents in physical danger Minimize emphasis on drawing charges Fool around in practice and during play Discourage half-field shots that could injure players or spectators near the basket , and the use of face masks.
“Although it may be impossible to completely eliminate concussion, it is possible to significantly reduce the risk and severity of these injuries,” the policy concludes. “Reducing the risk of concussion requires a continuum of techniques and effort from all parties involved in sporting activities, and we encourage all participants, parents and coaches to become familiar with these safety precautions.”
A similar resolution was passed regarding the city’s summer camp program, which must meet certain safety criteria in order to qualify for insurance.
“We assure the insurance carrier that the city will not authorize the conduct of next year’s youth summer camp until insurance records are satisfactory to the city’s insurer (travel insurance),” Quigley said.
The summer camp minutes are still being reviewed and were not released during or after the city council meeting.
The next meeting of the Ulster Town Board is scheduled for Thursday 1st December.