Scotland

Leaflet to raise awareness of the dangers of concussion

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionBenjamin Robinson died from "second impact syndrome"

A campaign has been launched to highlight the dangers of concussion in young people.

A leaflet for schools and sports clubs contains advice on how to identify the signs of concussion and what action to take.

The leaflet follows the death in 2011 of Northern Ireland schoolboy Benjamin Robinson after he suffered a double concussion during a school rugby match.

Benjamin's parents have campaigned to raise awareness of the dangers.

The Scottish government has produced the leaflet, which is supported by the Scottish Rugby Union, Scottish Football Association and sportscotland.

It gives coaches, teachers and parents the advice: "If in doubt, sit them out."

Benjamin Robinson died from "second impact syndrome" after a school rugby match in January 2011.

A Belfast coroner said it was the first such death recorded in Northern Ireland and probably the first in the UK.

Benjamin's father Peter, who now lives in Midlothian, has met with education ministers across the UK and campaigned for schools and sports clubs to correctly identify concussion and to remove a player from the field at the first sign of symptoms.

Image caption The new leaflet aims to raise awareness of concussion in sport

Speaking to the BBC last November, Mr Robinson said: "If the first concussion is recognised and they are removed, there will not be a problem.

"Something good has to come out of this, and if people now are taking about concussion and they're aware of the risks, maybe it will prevent the same thing happening [again]."

Dr Willie Stewart, consultant neuropathologist at Glasgow's Southern General hospital, said: "This is a most welcome initiative from the Scottish Government and our major sporting organisations to present this clear guidance on how to manage concussion, which is summed up by the simple and safe message, 'if in doubt, sit them out'."

The same six-word mantra has been in use in the United States. The American Academy of Neurology issued updated guidelines last year.

Education Secretary Mike Russell said: "Benjamin's death was a tragic case and his parents have been instrumental in ensuring there is a clear message to schools and sports clubs that concussion should be taken seriously and that anyone suspected of sustaining such an injury should be immediately removed from play.

"We hope this leaflet will help prevent further tragic incidents of concussion in children and young people playing sport by helping adults recognise the symptoms and know what action to take."

More on this story