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February 18, 2019

Are Rule Changes the Low-Hanging Fruit for Concussion Prevention in Youth Sport?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 2Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(4):309-310. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.5498

Sport-related concussions are most common in youths. It is expected that 1 in 10 youths (ages 11-18 years) will sustain a sport-related concussion annually.1 The risk of concussion is highest in youths participating in collision sport (eg, rugby and ice hockey), with concussion rates ranging from 0.5 to 4.2 concussions per 1000 athlete exposures.1 Sustaining a concussion can have negative health consequences including future physical activity participation, school performance, and postconcussion syndrome.1 A systematic review1 informing the International Consensus on Concussion in Sport regarding primary prevention strategies for concussion highlights rule changes, equipment recommendations, and training strategies.1 Of all primary concussion prevention strategies, rule changes may be considered the low-hanging fruit regarding the greatest potential population health effect in reducing the risk of concussion in youth sport.

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