"When in doubt, sit them out" in order to keep teen brains from colliding with the insides of their skulls

are concerned.

So for moms and dads attending football parents’ meetings in the coming months, it might be worth asking the coach or athletic trainer (if there is one) how they diagnose and manage these invisible injuries and whether they use the ImPACT program or a similar one. What’s their sideline action plan when such an injury occurs? “When bad things have happened to athletes,” Dr. Peter Gonzalez of Eastern Virginia Medical School said, “the vast majority did not have athletic trainers on the sideline.” Under present guidelines, a concussion in a football game on a Friday night almost always means the player should sit out the following week’s game. “When in doubt, sit them out” is the medical mantra. More than half the states in the country in recent years have passed or considered more restrictive concussion guidelines for young athletes, including Maryland and Virginia. It’s up to coaches at all levels of sports to stay current on the recommended procedures.

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