Opinion: International concussion guidelines must protect all athletes’ brains, not just professionals’

Every athlete of every age, gender, skill level, and experience gets just one brain that must last them throughout their lives. The international concussion group must prioritize that all-important goal.

Imagine that you are the parent of an 11-year-old soccer player who dreams of competing in the Women’s World Cup one day. You want to support her love for the sport while keeping her safe from harm. You are particularly concerned about brain injuries in youth sports, so you look up information about concussion protocols online.

Information published by an international group of experts known as the Concussion in Sport Group (CISG) is reassuring. They meet every several years to write updated consensus statements on concussions. Their guidelines, once called the “bible of concussion treatment recommendations,” informs concussion research, policies, and return-to-play protocols around the world.

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