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This week the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation released comprehensive Guidelines for Diagnosing and Managing Pediatric Concussions. The guidelines are intended to guide health care professionals in caring for children over five years of age and adolescents with head trauma, but they also provide a valuable resource and insight for parents and caregivers who are advocating for their child’s care.  Schools and community sports organizations will also find these guidelines helpful, with specific recommendations provided for these groups.

The guidelines are designed to be accessible, and increase public awareness about concussion and their management. They use plain language wherever possible – emphasizing that the symptoms of head trauma are nonspecific, and that children and adolescents may not be fully aware or able to articulate their symptoms. Levels of evidence are used to provide guidance to readers about the strength of the evidence base for specific recommendations, so that they can feel more comfortable making decisions using them.  

One of the key strengths of the Guidelines is the inclusion of a set of tools that don’t take too long and can be administered by primary healthcare professionals. The tools include concussion assessments, management and return to work tools, mental health questionnaires, post-concussion symptom inventories, and template letters of accommodation for schools.

For those caring for children or adolescents with head injuries, the guidelines provide valuable information to help meet the needs of their injured child or teen, ensuring they get the treatment and support they need to recover, so that they can move on to more important things, like soccer maybe? 

To access the Guidelines click on the attached link

Author(s)

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2021 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

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