Excited for the mainstream to see the movie “Concussion” with Will Smith in December. In my job I’m constantly having to explain why we don’t treat concussions like we did even 10 years ago. I have coaches and parents tell me how they have played with concussions and they are fine. I fall in that same category of athletes who were treated with the best knowledge available to medical professionals, coaches and parents at the time.
In the medical field our treatment is based on proven research to provide the best diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. This movie tells the story of why we are in our infancy in concussion research. This is because the NFL controlled the research and in turn controlled the medical treatment of millions of people not just NFL athletes. This was the same research that guided the care of all concussions worldwide at all ages; not just those concussions sustained in sports.
I am appreciative of the steps the NFL and other organizations have taken to make sports safer. However, there are still so many people with limited knowledge of concussions within healthcare and coaching. I’d advise any parent with a kid participating in athletics to do your research on proper diagnosis and treatment of concussions. Especially in regards to “return to play”. Each concussion needs to be overseen by a qualified healthcare provider trained in concussion management.
Parents also need to demand that there is proper medical supervision during athletics. Parents are the ones that will change the culture of athletics for the better. Make sure you are an advocate for your child and they are receiving the proper supervision and care.