- Officials and coaches must enforce the rules of proper tackling, including zero tolerance for illegal, head-first hits;
- Players must decide whether the benefits of playing outweigh the risks of possible injury;
- Non-tackling leagues should be expanded so athletes can choose to participate without the injury risks associated with tackling;
- Skilled athletic trainers should be available on the sidelines, as evidence shows they can reduce the number of injuries for players.
Kerry Forrestal, MD, with Peninsula Regional Medical Center, was a guest on DelmarvaLife. He offered some insight on the new guidelines. He says it’s very important parents ensure athletic programs observe and abide by the zero tolerance guidelines. He says hard hits can have a lasting impact on kids, particularly when it comes to concussions. Bottom line, Dr. Forrestal says, parents should really know their children’s coaches, understand what they’re having their child do, and if parents think their child needs to be examined by a doctor, don’t hesitate to have it done.