AMA policy aims to reduce youth concussion risks

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Chicago – Concussions have become a major issue for athletes, particularly young athletes, and the American Medical Association has taken a stance to help reduce the risks of concussions in youth sports.

AMA voted June 9 to adopt a policy that requires a young athlete suspected of having a concussion to immediately stop physical activity and resume only after obtaining a doctor’s written approval.

The policy also emphasizes “the need for prompt diagnosis and appropriate concussion management plans in treating sports-related concussions,” a press release states.

Additionally doctors, health care providers and sports organizations are encouraged to adopt “evidence-based, age specific guidelines” to evaluate and treat concussions in athletes. The guidelines could help develop risk-reduction measures to prevent or limit concussions and other sports injuries, AMA said.

Concussion symptoms include headaches, confusion and dizziness, as well as issues with balance and concentration, according to Rochester, MN-based Mayo Clinic. Concussions typically are caused by a blow to the head, and treatment involves rest.

Annually, 1.6 million to 3.8 million traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, related to sports and recreation occur nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.