The Importance of Proper Concussion Management

We are finally recognizing the untoward effects of repeated concussions related to contact sports activities, especially football. Several excellent reviews in this special issue of Pediatric Annalsprovide comprehensive information about the pathophysiology of concussion and provide guidance related to the pediatrician’s role in assessing the effects of concussions, and certifying the safe return to school and sports activities.

Many states recently have mandated that a physician must certify that it is safe for a concussed adolescent to return to school and/or to sports. Consequently, this responsibility often falls to the pediatric community.

Recognition of the potential long-term impact of repeated head trauma and repeated concussions is becoming more and more clear. It has been well-publicized in recent years, that a number of former professional football players have committed suicide after manifesting signs of dementia; upon autopsy examination of the brain they have been found to have had chronic encephalopathy that appears very likely to be related to repetitive head trauma.

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