Newswise — EVANSTON, Ill. --- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new children’s concussion guidelines that recommend against blood tests and routine X-rays for diagnosis in many cases.

Dr. Cynthia LaBella is director of the Institute for Sports Medicine at Lurie Children’s Hospital and professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. LaBella’s research focuses on identifying risk factors for injury in youth sports and developing strategies for prevention with focus on three specific domains, including youth concussion diagnostic tools and risk factors.    

LaBella is currently leading an ongoing longitudinal study of children with concussions to track the effects on future sports participation, risk for injury, and social, emotional and cognitive functioning. 

Quotes from Dr. LaBella

“It’s important for parents and young athletes to know that concussions can happen inanysport or activity, but thankfully the overwhelming majority of folks who get concussions recover completely within a reasonable timeframe without any long-term or permanent deficits.”

“Because no two concussions are the same, recovery and treatment will vary from person to person, so it is important to seek care from your pediatrician or pediatric sports medicine specialist for guidance with regard to how to gradually resume schoolwork and sports.”

“Physical and cognitive rest are important in the first 48 to 72 hours after injury. But light-moderate intensity aerobic exercise that does not worsen symptoms has been shown to facilitate recovery, and can be started as soon as a few days after the injury.”

“I encourage parents to keep a balanced perspective about concussions, because for most kids, the physical and social/emotional benefits of sports participation far outweigh the risks for injury.”

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