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Concussions resulting from sports and recreational activities are a significant concern in the pediatric population. The number of children and adolescents sustaining sport-related concussions is increasing and, as a result, legislation has been passed in all 50 states to ensure appropriate recognition and referral of pediatric athletes following concussion. The developing brain may make the diagnosis, assessment, and management of concussion more challenging for health care providers and requires the use of specific age-appropriate assessment tools. Concussion management must also include considerations for cognitive and physical rest, a collaborative concussion management team that includes medical and school personnel, and more conservative stepwise progressions for returning to school and to physical activity.
Valovich McLeod is a professor and director of Athletic Training Programs; John P. Wood, D.O., Endowed Chair for Sports Medicine; director of the Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory; and director of the Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network; A.T. Still University, Mesa, AZ. Houston and Welch are with A.T. Still University, Mesa, AZ.