A Guide to Developing Concussion Safety Protocol
Did you know the end result of some of the most common liability claims for fitness businesses can be concussions? Because of that, let’s talk about head injuries. Often times people associate concussions with contact sports like football. Though this is the most common place of injury it is not the only one. In fact, the risk of concussion is so concerning in the fitness, that some of Gild Insurance’s insurance partners are REQUIRING business owners to have a concussion protocol in pace before issuing insurance coverages!
Data gathered from the University of Pittsburg Medical Center estimates that anywhere from 1.7 to 3 million sports and recreational related concussions occur each year. Around 5 in 10 of these concussions are undetected and thus unreported. As fitness business owner, let’s outline what a concussion is, how is effects your business, and how you can ensure your business can respond accordingly if an injury occurs.
Concussion Defined and Common Misconceptions
The CDC defines a concussion as, “a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.
A common myth regarding concussions is that they only occur due to a direct blow to the head. In reality, a concussion can easily be caused by a blow to any part of the face, neck, or body if the force of the impact is transmitted to the head. With this broad definition, it is a bit more understandable on why concussions may be likely in a studio or fitness facility.
The Who and What of Concussion Protocol
So now that we know concussions aren’t just for the football field, what steps can a fitness business owner take to protect themselves and their clients? We’ve told you that a concussion protocol is becoming standard for fitness facilities, but what does that mean?
A concussion protocol is a set of policies, tools and assessments that your business can use to help care for a person who has potentially suffered a concussion. To get an idea of what an actual concussion protocol looks like you can find a template on the NCAA’s website.
For more information on concussion protocols and concussion prevention, care and treatment take a look at the following websites:
- DC’s Heads Up – The Centers for Disease Control have a comprehensive list of pages to help recognize the signs, symptoms, and dangers of a concussion. There is a number of other resources in the form of online training, mobile apps, videos, informational graphics, podcasts and social media posts.
- American Academy of Neurology – The world’s largest associated of neurologists is another trusted authority on concussions. Their site includes a concussion checklist that can help evaluate if someone may have had a concussion and needs to see a neurologist.
To learn more about the risks of fitness businesses, check out the Gild Team’s blog articles, “The Most Common Liability Claims for Fitness Studio Owners” and “Professional Liability And The Fitness Studio Owner”.
As always, it is best to have an end-to-end insurance plan in place. This ensures your business or organization is covered in a worst-case scenario. At Gild Insurance, we have all of the tools you need to find the right insurance that is best suited to your business’s unique needs.
Whether you’re a fitness instructor, studio owner, or personal trainer, we help fitness professionals like yourself find the insurance products you need!
-  Concussion Facts and Statistics” University of Pittsburg Medical Center, 2023, https://www.upmc.com/services/sports-medicine/services/concussion/about/facts-statistics#:~:text=We’ve%20found%20that%3A,concussions%20go%20unreported%20or%20undetected.
-  Heads Up. Safe Brain. Strong Future.” Center for Disease Control, 25 Feb 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/index.html
- Disclaimer: The content in this article is offered for information and educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute, or be a substitute for, medical or legal advice. All information provided in this article is for general purposes only.