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Sports Concussions: New Guidelines Issued

Take All Head Injuries Seriously, Monitor Closely for Delayed Reactions

6. Special Considerations for Young Athletes

  • Because damage to the maturing brain of a young athlete can be catastrophic, even greater caution should be used with athletes under age 18.
  • An athlete with a concussion should be instructed to avoid taking medications, unless it's acetaminophen or other drugs that are prescribed by a doctor.
  • Any athlete with a concussion should be instructed to rest, but complete bed rest is not recommended. The athlete should resume normal activities of daily living as he or she is able, while avoiding activities that could make symptoms worse.
  • The athletic trainer should enforce the standard use of helmets for protecting against catastrophic head injuries and reducing the severity of concussions.
  • The athletic trainer should enforce the standard use of mouth guards for protection against dental injuries -- even though there is no scientific evidence that they will reduce concussion injuries.

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