What parents need to know about Wisconsin’s concussion law and youth athletics

Welcome to 2013! If your kids participate in sports this year, you should know that Wisconsin’s concussion law requires all youth athletic organizations, from recreational leagues to clubs or school sports, to educate coaches, athletes and parents about concussions. Everyone should be aware of the signs and effects of concussion, because …Click here to continue reading

Why female athletes should pay attention to missed periods

With spring sports finishing and fall sports on the horizon, many female athletes train year round to stay in shape. They may be trying to increase mileage and eat healthier to improve their performance. Sometimes, during intense sports seasons, a teen or young woman will realize that her period has stopped.

What’s wrong with that? Not many of us actually enjoy getting our periods. They can cause physical discomfort or irritability and, frankly, they aren’t pleasant. But few people realize …Click here to continue reading

Why kids with ACL injuries need special treatment

It’s already been a tough spring for the Brewers, with two players lost for the season to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. Knee injuries are just as frustrating for young athletes. One of the first things my patients often say to me is, “When can I play again?”

The ACL is the ligament that helps keep the knee stable. It’s one of the four main ligaments in the knee joint that connect it to the shin bone, known as the tibia, and thigh bone …Click here to continue reading

This is a no-brainer: Concussion legislation will be signed into law

Have you heard? Youth concussion legislation passed in the state Legislature yesterday and soon will be signed into law. It will go a long way to protect all kids in Wisconsin.

As a pediatric sports medicine and concussion specialist, every day I see young athletes whose concussions have caused significant problems. Without a doubt, we know that …Click here to continue reading

When in doubt, sit them out

As a pediatric sports medicine and concussion specialist, I say it nearly every day. Many of you have heard me talk about young athletes and concussion, and this week I had another great opportunity to get the word out.

With every interview or presentation I do, I know one more coach, parent or athlete learns that concussion is a brain injury and needs to be taken seriously.

Here are the most important things to remember if you even suspect a young athlete may …Click here to continue reading

Why treating a student with a concussion requires a comprehensive approach

While caring for patients in the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Concussion Clinic, I often notice that parents and young athletes don’t realize that a concussion affects injured athletes in all phases of life, not just athletics. While progress has been made in concussion awareness and recognition on the athletic field (although there’s still room for improvement), concussion awareness has …Continue reading this post

Concussion: New guidelines improve safety

You may have read and heard a lot about concussions lately. I recently cowrote a clinical report on sports-related concussions in children and adolescents that will be published today in Pediatrics. There have been some positive changes in the NFL and NCAA to improve safety, but you will be glad to know the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletics Association has been following these improved rules for a few years now.

Concussions are brain injuries and need to be taken seriously. They don’t just happen in …Click here to continue reading

Protect those pearly whites

March Madness continues and the elbows are flying. To help prevent dental injuries and cuts to the face, lips and inside of the mouth, any athlete playing a collision or contact sport should wear a mouth guard.

There are three main types of mouth guards: stock, boil and bite, and custom.

Stock mouth guards are available at your local drug store, and can be immediately removed from the package and placed in the mouth. Although they’re convenient, they tend to be very bulky and require the child to constantly bite down to hold the mouth guard in place.

…Click here to continue reading

TLC for your brain: Wear a helmet

Concussion has been a hot topic in the news lately. In youth sports, several states recently passed laws requiring coaches to be educated about concussions and kids with suspected concussions to be stopped from practice or playing until they receive medical clearance.

In football alone, there are 100,000 concussions per year. Whether you’re an Olympian, high school athlete or simply sledding in the park, helmets are essential safety gear.

When buying a helmet, it’s important to remember a few guidelines:

…Click here to continue reading

Enjoy the snow and sled safely, please

Well, the snow is coming down today marking the first big snowstorm of 2010. Though we adults may dread driving in it, nothing makes kids happier than sledding down a hill blanketed with fresh snow.

But did you know that each winter 24,500 kids are injured in sledding accidents? About 3,000 of these kids suffer a serious brain injury as a result. These are scary statistics that no parent wants to think about. A few simple precautions can help prevent many of these …Click here to continue reading