Sport-related concussions in adolescent athletes: a critical public health problem for which prevention remains an elusive goal
Sport-related concussions in young athletes are common, generally under reported and often unrecognized. Preventive strategies include education, modification of sport rules, use of equipment such as headgears, face masks and mouth guards, and neck muscle training. Evidence is limited to support effectiveness of these preventive measures with the exception of rule modification in some sports. In the United States, laws have been enacted that require medical evaluation and clearance prior to return to play; however, evidence thus far does not show that laws have been effective in reducing the incidence of concussions in sport. More research is needed in all areas of preventive measures. Sports participation is a complex personal decision on the part of the adolescent and his or her family. They should be provided with all information on inherent risks so that they can make an informed decision.