SAFEGUARDING CHILD ATHLETE IN SPORT IOC MODEL

[Safeguarding the child athlete in sport: a review, a framework and recommendations for the IOC youth athlete development model by M Mountjoy, D J A Rhind, A Tivas, and M Leglise Br J Sports Med, Jul, 2015, 49(5), 883-886]

Abstract
“Participation in sport has many physical, psychological and social benefits for the child athlete. A growing body of evidence indicates, however, that sport participation may have inherent threats for the child’s well-being. The subject of safeguarding children in sport has seen an increase in scientific study in recent years. In particular, there is increasing emphasis on identifying who is involved in abuse, the context of where it occurs and the identification of the various forms of abuse that take place in the sporting domain. Safeguarding principles developed by the International Safeguarding Children in Sport Founders Group are presented along with 8 underlying pillars which underpin the successful adoption and implementation of safeguarding strategies. This safeguarding model is designed to assist sport organization’s in the creation of a safe sporting environment to ensure that the child athlete can flourish and reach their athletic potential through an enjoyable experience. The aim of this narrative review is to (1) present a summary of the scientific literature on the threats to children in sport; (2) introduce a framework to categorize these threats; (3) identify research gaps in the field and (4) provide safeguarding recommendations for sport organizations.”

“Therefore, while the International Safeguards for Children in Sport present a framework which can guide organizations, the impact of these measures will be influenced by the extent to which they are tailored to the local context. This can be facilitated through building a system based on the pillars outlined above.42

“In addition to the International Safeguards for Children in Sport framework, sports organizations should adopt and implement the Olympic Movement Medical Code which serves to guide the behaviors of healthcare providers in the care of athletes in the sport context *(http://www.olympic.org/PageFiles/61597/Olympic_Movement_Medical_Code_eng.pdf).7

“Relationships between athletes and healthcare providers are outlined here, including best practices on informed consent, confidentiality and privacy. Also, best practices with respect to athlete health protection and promotion during training and competition are clearly defined. With respect to the child athlete in particular, the Olympic Movement Medical Code addresses the unique characteristics of the child athlete who, unlike the adult athlete, has variable stages of growth, maturation and psychosocial development which pose distinct physical, psychological and social health risks if not respected in the sport context. The vulnerability of the child athlete to adult pressures in the sport milieu are also identified7

“Health care providers should oppose any sports or physical activity that is not appropriate to the stage of growth, development, general condition of health, and level of training of children. They should act in the best interest of the health of children or adolescents, without regard to any other interests or pressures from the entourage (eg, coach, management, family, etc.) or other athletes.

“In the organization of multisport events for the child athlete, sport organizations should encourage multidisciplinary collaboration to effectively implement event-safeguarding principles. Specifically, partnering safeguarding organizations with team physicians and field-of-play healthcare professionals will enable closer surveillance and identification of concerning injury patterns or evidence of violence (acts of either omission or commission) and more effective management of allegations.
[Safeguarding the child athlete in sport: a review, a framework and recommendations for the IOC youth athlete development model by M Mountjoy, D J A Rhind, A Tivas, and M Leglise Br J Sports Med, Jul, 2015, 49(5), 883-886]

A DOCTOR ‘HOW TO’ REPORT CHILD ATHLETE ABUSE SYNDROME http://www.childathleteabusereport.com

^*Olympic Movement Medical Code In force as from 31 March 2016
^*(http://www.olympic.org/PageFiles/61597/Olympic_Movement_Medical_Code_eng.pdf).7

“PREAMBLE “Fundamental Principles of Olympism 1. Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example, social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles. 2. The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.” Olympic Charter, August 2015

1. The Olympic Movement, to accomplish its mission, encourages all stakeholders to take measures to ensure that sport is practiced to minimize harm to the health of the athletes and with respect for fair play and sports ethics. To that end, it encourages those measures necessary to protect the health of participants by minimizing the risks of physical injury, illness and psychological harm. It also encourages measures that will protect athletes in their relationships with physicians and other health care providers.

2. This principle objective of protecting the health of athletes necessitates ongoing education based on the ethical values of sport and the recognition of each individual’s responsibility to protect their health and the health of others.

3. The Olympic Movement Medical Code (hereafter the “Code”) recognizes the primacy of the athletes’ health, mandates best medical practice in the provision of care to the athletes, and the protection of their rights as patients. It reflects the universal principles enshrined in international codes of medical ethics. It supports and encourages the adoption of specific measures to achieve those objectives, recognizes the principles of fair play and sports ethics and embodies the tenets of the World Anti-Doping Code.

4. The Code applies at the Olympic Games and has potential application to all sport, whether in training or in competition, including championships of the International Federations and competitions to which the International Olympic Committee (IOC) grants its patronage or support

1.6 Health Care Providers

1.6.1 The same ethical principles that apply to the practice of medicine apply within the practice of sports medicine. The principal duties of physicians and other health care providers in sport settings include: a. doing no harm; b. making the health of athletes a priority.

1.6.2 Health care providers who care for athletes must possess the necessary education, training and experience in sports medicine, and maintain their knowledge and skills up to date through continuous professional development. They should understand the physical, psychological and emotional demands placed upon athletes during training and competition and the unique circumstances and pressures of the sport environment.

1.6.3 Athletes’ health care providers must act in accordance with the latest medical knowledge. Any health care provider should, when possible, reflect evidence-based medicine. They must refuse to provide any intervention that is not medically indicated, even following the request of the athletes, their entourage or another health care provider. Health care providers must refuse to falsify medical certificates concerning the fitness of an athlete to participate in training or competition.

1.6.4 When due to their medical condition, the health or well-being of an athlete is at increased risk, health care providers must inform them accordingly. When the risk is severe, they must strongly discourage the athlete from continuing training or competition including if necessary by providing a written certificate of unfitness to practise. When there is a risk to third parties (players of the same team, opponents, family, the public, etc.), health care providers may also inform the competent persons or authorities, even against the will of the athletes, about their unfitness to participate in training or competition, subject to applicable legislation.

1.6.5. Health care providers must oppose any sports or physical activity that is not appropriate to the stage of growth, development, general condition of health, and level of training of children. Relevant national legislation mandating that health care providers must REPORT situations when a child is at risk (^for Athlete physical and psychological abuse, negligent supervision, humans rights violations and sexual abuse) must be understood and acted upon by sport medicine professionals. When advising on appropriate training and competition they must act in the best interest of the health of children, without regard to any other interests or pressures from the entourage (e.g., coach, management, family, etc.) or other athletes.

3.2. Compliance

3.2.1. The signatories implement the applicable Code provisions through policies, statutes, rules or regulations according to their authority and within their respective spheres of responsibility. They undertake to make the principles and provisions of the Code widely known, by active and appropriate means. For that purpose, they collaborate closely with the relevant physicians’ and health care providers’ associations and the competent authorities.

3.2.2. The signatories encourage and expect physicians and other health care providers caring for athletes within their spheres of responsibility to act in accordance with this Code. There should be disciplinary consequences, within the jurisdiction of a signatory, for anyone who does not comply with the Code, such as withdrawal of accreditation, removal from a team, and the REPORTING of behavior in violation of the Code to the relevant national competent health authority. Each signatory must decide on the responsible body to which any infringement of the Code must be REPORTED, which will determine whether a violation of the Code has taken place.”

[^*Olympic Movement Medical Code In force as from 31 March 2016
^*(http://www.olympic.org/PageFiles/61597/Olympic_Movement_Medical_Code_eng.pdf). 7]

A DOCTOR ‘HOW TO’ REPORT CHILD ATHLETE ABUSE SYNDROME http://www.childathleteabusereport.com

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