Experts are raising more concern about kids and sports-related concussions.
The American Academy of Neurology is strongly encouraging state and local officials to enact safety regulations to cut back on the number of head injuries during contact sports.
According to a story in the St. Louis Dispatch, there may be up to 3.8 million kids in the US who experience sports-related concussions occur each year.
Children are more likely to sustain concussions and require longer time to recover from them. They're also at high risk for developing headaches and suffering from impaired memory, cognitive function, attention, or other behavioral changes.
Doctors are concerned, because over the past 10 years, the number of emergency department visits for sports-related traumatic brain injuries among children and adolescents increased by 60 percent.
The Academy of Neurology recommends that athletes, parents, and coaches need to be more aware of the possible negative consequences of getting a concussion.
They also suggest that any athlete who is suspected to have suffered a concussion should be immediately removed from participating in a game or a practice.
Finally, they recommend that a licensed health care professional, such as a neurologist, must clear the youth athlete before he or she can return to play. This includes sports recognized by high school athletic associations as well as community youth and recreational leagues.
To learn more about concussions and what to watch for if a child you know has experienced one, you can visit the website for the American Academy of Neurology at www.AAN.com.
I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.