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Sports Concussion in Children

2016 April 19

Sports-related concussions in children have received a lot of media coverage on the past few years. The understanding of the cause, diagnosis and management, and prevention of sports-related in concussions in children continues to evolve and it may be difficult to keep track of the new research. Here is my quick guide for kids, parents, coaches, and anyone taking care of the young athlete.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is defined as a mild traumatic brain injury that results from a direct or indirect trauma to the brain which causes cognitive and/or behavioral impairment, but no apparent structural changes. This is caused by direct or rotational forces from a blow to the head or indirect forces transmitted to the head from a hit to the body. The most common sports involved are “collision” sports such as american football, ice hockey, boxing, and rugby. Other sports in which concussions can commonly occur include “contact” sports such as basketball, lacrosse, soccer, and wrestling. read more…

Triathlons for Children

2016 April 13

Here are some pictures of the Nautica NYC Triathlon last weekend. I was there as a physician volunteer and was at the swim exit and then at the finish line. The NYC Triathlon is an Olympic distance event which covers a distance of 1.5K Swim, 40K Bike, and 10K Run. The swim is done on the Hudson River, the bike is along the West Side Highway, and then it finishes with a run through Central Park.

This got me thinking about triathlons for children. Currently, there are a number of triathlon events around the world geared toward children of all ages. In 2009, the New York Times did an article about this as well. In one triathlon, the youngest child to participate was 3 years-old. Before anyone becomes outraged at this, keep in mind that swimming, biking, and running are all things that children as young as 3 can do. Training for a triathlon may actually be better for overall development than many other popular sports like baseball and football since it incorporates various skill sets and utilizes the entire body. Triathlon events for children are great as long as everyone involved keeps some key points in mind: read more…

Tough Decisions about Concussions

2016 April 1

Decisions like the one Texas Longhorn Nolan Brewster recently made to quit playing football are tough.  I am not one of the physician taking part of his care, so I do not know all the specifics.  But having had similar conversations with my patients, I can understand the process he has gone through.  The Sport becomes part of the athletes’ identity.  In the case of a top college football player, it is also a potential source of future income for himself and his family.  But when the safety of the athlete becomes a major concern, sometimes this tough decision is the right decision.  This decision did not happen overnight.  It involves the discussion of the whole family along with a multi-disciplinary approach with coaches, trainers, and medical professions.  I always recommend consultation with a sports psychologist when concussions start affecting the normal routine for an athlete, and especially when decisions about quitting or changing a sport is involved.  Depression is among the possible symptoms of concussions and cumulative head injury.  For an athlete who needs to find a new identity, strong family support and a good sports psychologist are the most important things going forward.  I wish Nolan Brewster much luck and success on the next chapter of his life.

Pediatric Sports Injuries on NYU’s Doctor Radio: Sirius/XM 81 on August 22 @ 6pm

2016 March 30

On Monday, August 22nd at 6pm, I will be on NYU’s Doctor Radio talking about Pediatric Sports Injuries.  If you have Sirius or XM Satellite Radio, tune in to listen, and call in if you have any questions!  That’s NYU Doctor Radio Sirius/XM 81 @ 6pm on Monday August 22nd.