CDC Releases New Guideline for Treating Pediatric Concussion
By David Doolittle


Just in time for high school football season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a new guideline for Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (or mTBI).

Published Sept. 4, the guideline is based on 25 years of research, diagnosis, and management of pediatric mTBI (commonly referred to as concussion).

The guideline’s 19 sets of clinical recommendations cover diagnosis, prognosis, and management and treatment. The recommendations, which are applicable for all health care settings, include:  

  • Do not routinely image pediatric patients to diagnose;
  • Use age-appropriate symptom scales to diagnose mTBI;
  • Assess for risk factors for prolonged recovery, including: a history of mTBI or other brain injury, severe symptom presentation immediately after the injury, and personal characteristics and family history;
  • Provide patients with instructions on returning to activity customized to their symptoms; and
  • Counsel patients to return gradually to non-sports activities after no more than two to three days of rest.  

The CDC website contains other information and resources on pediatric concussion. These include a checklist on diagnosis and management, sample patient discharge instructions, recovery tips for parents, and a letter to schools to be filled in by physicians and other health care professionals.

In May of this year, the TMA House of Delegates approved official policy on injuries and sport-related concussion, which encourages physicians to contribute to and support updates of pediatric guidelines, and share the most recent information with TMA members.

Last Updated On

September 06, 2018

Originally Published On

September 06, 2018

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