This past Sunday AM on my WFAN radio show, I asked my brother — who’s one of the top pediatric neurologists in the country – for his professional opinion about kids, parents, and concussions.
Here’s what Dr. Robert Wolff of Children’s Hospital in Boston had to say — and on a personal note from me….IF YOU ARE A SPORTS PARENT WHOSE SON OR DAUGHTER PLAYS A CONTACT SPORT, PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO READ ALL OF THIS:
“My observation is that youngsters who sustain mild brain injuries characterized by transient confusion, balance problems, or amnesia of even a brief duration need to be immdiately removed from play and the possibility of further head injury. However, the vast, vast majority of such children recover entirely, and have no lingering symptoms of concussion. Such children if indeed asymptomatic at both rest and with exercise may, after a graded re-entry, may return to play at a minimum of 7 days.
“In my personal experience of more than 30 years, taking care of hundreds and hundreds of such children, my impression is they go on to do well and do not present with early signs of CTE. This is a personal observation. No large scale prospective studies have been done, although some are now underway at Children’s Hospital in Boston and other large centers.
“Most sports do indeed have inherent risks and some much more than others. The act of simply driving your child across town to chess practice may pose a much more significant risk if one considers the actual statistics of youth mortality in auto accidents.
“My own perspective on the risks of allowing play in football or ice hockey (incidentally both my sons played these sports in high school) is that I feel the participation in these activities had many more positive benefits than the potential risks. I would insist, however, that my kids’ coaches were fully educated about concussions, and would take the time to educate the team members about the importance of how to identify and report them immediately to eliminate the risk of greater injury.”