A CRIB Point junior footballer was airlifted to the Royal Children’s Hospital on Sunday afternoon after being knocked unconscious in a game against Pearcedale.
Xavier Wilson, 12, had his head over the ball when an opponent rushed in and their heads clashed in an MPJFL game.
Another player bumped the pair with his hip.
Xavier blacked out and fell to the ground. Trainers from both sides were quickly on the scene.
Club president Mark Wilson, Xavier’s father, was coaching an under-15s side at BlueScope when he learned of the incident.
“I rushed over and the ambulance was already there. Xavier was experiencing pins and needles and numbness and the officers arranged for the air ambulance to take him to the Royal Children’s Hospital,” Mr Wilson said yesterday, Monday. “He was treated there but he’s home now and doing OK.”
Mr Wilson said the Pearcedale trainers who were first on the scene “did a terrific job”.
Mr Wilson messaged supporters on Facebook his son had been checked by doctors: “Hi all. Thanks for the calls and messages about Xavier. Nothing broken, just muscle damage, they think, but he still has tingling in his feet. They are going to send him home soon.”
The Somerville Secondary College student, who has played footy for the past six years, will see a specialist concussion team from the Royal Children’s this week and be rested for the next game – and take a couple of days off school.
Mr Wilson said the issue of compulsory wearing of headgear was up to parents and individual clubs, but conceded a case could be made for it in younger age groups.
“I’m old school,” he said. “I played a lot of football and was knocked out occasionally, but it [wearing head gear] is up to the individual in the older age groups.”
AFL South East official Sean Connell said early treatment of head clashes and concussion was vital. “That’s why we have trained medical staff on the scene,” he said. “They are able to offer a quick initial response and first-class care.”