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Young Athletes at Risk for Concussions

Even with the known dangers, research suggests as many as 50 percent of child athlete concussions go undiagnosed or untreated--a dangerous number since, according to the AAP, a child who has had one concussion is 2 to 4 times more likely to have another. Because of this, the AAP has issued new guidelines to follow when dealing with a child athlete who has suffered a possible concussion:

  • Children who sustain a concussion should not return to play until they receive medical clearance from a health care professional with experience in concussion management in young athletes.
  • Child athletes should not be returned to play on the same day of the concussion, even if they become asymptomatic.
  • All athletes should be restricted from physical activity and mental exertion until they are asymptomatic. Schools should work with the students to modify workloads to promote a quicker recovery and avoid exacerbation of their symptoms.
  • Neuropsychological testing should be used as one tool in the complete management of a sport-related concussion.
  • CT or MRI should be performed in the event of a suspected concussion.
  • Retirement from contact sports may be necessary for an athlete who has sustained multiple concussions, or who has suffered from prolonged post-concussive symptoms.
  • For more information on concussions among young athletes, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics.



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