At a UMCC Student-Athlete Health Forum and the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents’ meetings, held this spring, leaders in concussion research, emergency medicine, sports rehabilitation, athletic training and neurology, shared their knowledge with Mississippi coaches, trainers, athletic directors and school administrators.
Mike Wilkinson, MS, ATC, who is the director of athletic training outreach services for Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, outlined the medical safety guidelines instituted by the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) since the establishment of the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee in 2004.
These guidelines are now required of all member schools and coaching staffs of the MHSAA.
All Secondary Coaches be Certified in CPR/AED.2006 – Strongly recommended that AEDs be located within two minutes of all athletic locations.
Lightning detector required and monitored at all outdoor events.2007 – Digital monitoring of lightning strikes by host game administrator. (Mississippi is in top 6 States for frequency of lightning.)
Heat Precautions and Recommendations. 2008 – Includes monitoring of Wet Bulb Globe Temp and appropriate modifications to practice when excessive.
Concussion Policy.2011, 2013 – Athletes should be removed from games for the day when symptoms of concussions are present and physician release required to return to play. Coaches education.
Sports Specific Coaches First Aid certification.2013
Pre-Season Acclimatization Policy.2014 – Follow evidenced based research for first 10-14 day Heat Acclimatization period, same policy in effect for NCAA schools since 2003
Limiting In-Season Contact2016 – Limit contact in practice to 90 minutes during game weeks, and 120 minutes when no game. Contact guidelines are specific.
Requirement for Immersion Cold Tub at Practice/Games in August.2016 – Cool First, Transport Second. Evidence based research.
Wilkinson is also Chair of the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC).