The effects of a concussion in high school can last a lifetime. So, to help parents, coaches, and athletes reduce the potential long-term-risks, The American Academy of Pediatrics is issuing updated guidelines on sport-related concussions.
"Particularly no athlete should go back into any competition while they’re still symptomatic," said Dr. Paul Gubanich of Cleveland Clinic. "And having them looked at by a health care professional to make sure that they have cleared because it’s not just their reported symptoms we’re worried about, but we’re worried about some of the more subtle things that they may not report."
Researchers say young athletes are more susceptible to the effects of a concussion because their brains are still developing. The AAP recommends any child or adolescent who sustains a concussion be evaluated by a physician before returning to play and that physical activity be restricted from 7 to 10 days, or longer.
Dr. Gubanich says it’s important parents and coaches not ignore even the smallest symptom.
"Symptoms of any kind. If it’s headache, they need to take that serious. If it's dizziness, balance problems, nausea, vomiting, we used to, in the past, some of those symptoms were downplayed, and now those are real injuries that need to be evaluated and appropriately managed," he said.
- The complete list of guidelines can be found in the journal "Pediatrics".
- Learn more about concussions from the Concussion Center, including symptom management tips.