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Kids, Sports, and Concussion: A Guide for Coaches and Parents, 2nd Edition
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Foreword I am very pleased to introduce Dr. Bill Meehan’s parents’ and coaches’ guide to sports-related concussions. Such a book is long overdue. A true health crisis is emerging as we in the sports medicine field come to understand that far too many concussions are occurring on the sports field. What is even more disturbing is that this very dangerous injury is often not reported or is underreported. The short- and long-term implications of concussion injuries are not fully appreciated, and as a result, they are often managed in an inadequate fashion. Dr. Meehan’s book is the first book for parents on this subject. In this excellent resource, you will find information that clarifies the extent of the concussion problem, signs you can use to recognize concussions in your own child, and proper guidelines for management, monitoring, and safe return to play for the young athlete. Although sports medicine is a relatively young discipline, there is a growing awareness of how important it is that injuries sustained by athletes receive focused assessment and management. Injuries to young athletes are of particu- lar concern. In addition to how we diagnose and treat these injuries, there is a particular emphasis now on injury prevention . Nowhere is this more important than in sports injuries to the brain. Unlike other anatomical areas such as our bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, our brain tissue has relatively limited ability to heal and repair itself. If not recognized and treated early on, repeated injuries to the brain can result in lasting and permanent damage. And of course, above and beyond all other tissue in our body, the brain plays a fundamental role in our ability to function as human beings. All this makes it imperative that we focus on early recognition and diagnosis of concussion injuries, especially in our children, who depend on us for their safety. Furthermore, everyone in the sports environment—parents, coaches, team officials, and athletes—must combine their efforts to find and implement the most effective means of preventing injuries to the young athlete’s brain.