Dr. Robert Cantu, Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University School of Medicine, explains how children' s brains and bodies are different than those of adults, highlighting the need to reform youth sports.

Prevention Strategies

  • Be familiar with the symptoms of concussion and be able to recognize them on and off the field.
  • Remove an athlete from play immediately if a concussion is suspected.
  • Emphasize concussion education to athletes, coaches and parents. Concussion awareness can prevent debilitating long term consequences of concussion.
  • Go through baseline testing with all athletes in the preseason so concussions can be objectively detected and managed throughout the season.
  • Work with athletes to improve neck and core strength. This strength makes athletes less susceptible to concussions.
  • Delay full-contact play until the age of 14. Activities such as tackling are unnecessary and dangerous for young children.
  • Limit the amount of full-contact practice at all ages and levels. Learn more about contact limiting strategies like Hit Count® from Sports Legacy Institute.
  • Teach youth athletes to use proper technique to minimize the risk of concussions.
  • Do not rely on protective equipment such as helmets. There is no helmet that can prevent a concussion.
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