MomsTEAM Institute's Screening Of Sony Pictures' Concussion Movie Ends Year On High Note, But More Work To Be Done


On December 21, 2015, MomsTeam Institute of Youth Sports Safety held a special advance screening of Sony Pictures's new movie, Concussion, starring Will Smith, at the Loews - Boston Common theatre.

Joining me at the screening and a post-screening reception at the Ritz-Carlton were concussion experts and advocates from around the nation, Jeanne Marie Laskas, author of the 2009 GQ article on which the movie is based and the critically-acclaimed book, Concussion (pictured to my right below), and a large contingent of former NFL players (including Joey LaRoque (l) and Caleb Hanie (r)). 



Pediatrics Group Declines To Endorse Outright Ban On Tackle Football

On October 18, 2015 the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a much-awaited Policy Statement on Tackling in Youth Football, joining those calling for limits in the number of contact practices, but declining to make a clear recommendation in favor of delaying the age at which tackling is introduced. The AAP likewise refused to support those calling for an outright ban on tackling in football for athletes below age 18, unwilling to recommend at this time such a fundamental change in the way the game is played.


Heading In Soccer: The Debate Continues


A youth soccer safety campaign urging middle schools and under-14 soccer leagues to eliminate heading in the sport as a way of reducing concussions continues to grab headlines, but is viewed in a new study47 not only as culturally unacceptable in a sport that has been allowed to become more physical over time, but as a less effective way to prevent concussions than by reducing athlete-athlete contact across all phases of the game through better enforcement of existing rules, enhanced education of athletes on the rules of the game, and improved coaching.  


Strict Rest After Concussion May Not Speed Recovery, New Study Finds

Strict physical and cognitive rest in the five days immediately after concussion does not help teens recover more quickly than taking it easy for one to two days after injury and then returning to school, finds a new study. (Thomas, 2015)  

The mainstay of concussion management for children and teens is both cognitive and physical rest after injury followed by a gradual, symptom-limited, return to activity. (Meehan, 2015).  As several medical groups (McCrory, 2013; Halstead, 2010; Giza 2013) have noted, however, the evidence on which the recommendation for rest is based is sparse, due, in part, to the difficult nature of quantifying and tracking levels of physical and, particularly, cognitive activity.


Risk Factors For Sports Concussion: Only Previous Concussion, Game Action Certain To Increase Risk

Previous concussions and match play increase the risk of sustaining subsequent concussions, but there is not enough high quality research evidence to determine whether other factors, such as gender, playing position, playing level, style of play, environment and injury mechanism, also significantly increase risk of concussion in sport, finds a first-of-its-kind, evidence-based systematic review of the scientific literature published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.[1]

14 concussion risk factors

Analyzing the findings of 86 studies which met the critieria for inclusion, South African researchers, led by Shameemah Abrahams, MS of the UCT/RMC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine in the Department of Human Biology at the University of Cape Town, identified 14 risk factors for sports concussion and assigned each a level of certainty for risk assessment purposes (see chart below):


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