Rothman Institute takes hard stance on returning to play after a concussion


“When in doubt, sit them out.”

That’s the CDC’s motto on returning to play after a concussion. That philosophy is also echoed by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the international leader in concussion management. Yet the motto still leaves coaches and parents with the underlining tone of having “options” when it comes to concussion management. Rothman Institute is going one step further.

“It is important to educate students, athletes, parents, coaches, administrators, communities and organizations on concussions,” said Linda Mazzoli, M.S., Director of Rothman Institute’s concussion program. “But sometimes, you also need to take a stance. We are taking that stance.”

Rothman’s brand-new concussion website, which just launched on Monday, clearly displays their hard stance on the head injury: “Concussions: Don’t play with them.”

Rothman is stressing the importance of safely returning to play after a concussion, which can be especially problematic in athletes under the age of 18. Young athletes are at an increased risk for second-impact syndrome, which can be fatal.

“We are saying that it is important to be educated, but this is also as important as saying ‘Don’t smoke,’ ‘Don’t do drugs,’ or ‘Don’t drink and drive’,” said Mazzoli. “There are ramifications to this if you choose to ignore it.”

The new site offers a comprehensive concussion guide with education specific to families, coaches and even school districts and policy makers. Read in-depth explanations of baseline screening, plus get info on the whopping 11 locations parents can take their kids to get tested in the Greater Philadelphia Area.

But most importantly, the new site offers a checklist for parents, debunking many of the old wives’ tales regarding concussion do’s and don’ts. For example, you do need to limit your child’s screen time to 30 minutes but when it comes to making sure to wake your concussed athlete every couple of hours, well, that’s not really needed.

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