For the first time in the US, the CDC is issuing guidelines for diagnosing and treating children who have suffered a concussion.
The guidelines summarize thousands of studies performed over the past 25 years into 19 sets of recommendations. The research team developed guidelines for concussion imaging, assessing brain function, and how and when children should be referred to a specialist.
They are intended to serve as a template for doctors, coaches, and parents when a concussion is suspected.
Dr. Ed Benzel, of Cleveland Clinic, says, “It’s going to increase and further heighten our awareness regarding potential injuries and how to manage them and how to prevent them, and how to – and making sure that kids don’t return – go return to play too soon and incur another injury which is much more severe.”
The pediatric guidelines are similar to the adult concussion guidelines that are already in place, but children are more vulnerable, have more fragile brains, and are still learning, which is addressed in the new guidelines.