Despite increased awareness of sports-related concussions in young athletes, a culture remains that resists both the self-reporting of concussions and compliance with appropriate concussion management plans, according to an extensive report released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council.

A committee of experts, including CHOP Center for Injury Research and Prevention’s (CIRP) Kristy Arbogast, PhD, wrote the report, “Sports-Related Concussion in Youth: Improving the Science, Changing the Culture.”

“There must be a shift in the culture of athletics — among parents, coaches, school personnel, and the youth athletes themselves — to treat concussion as an injury that requires serious attention, even if it means missing ‘the big game’ or an entire season of play,” Dr. Arbogast said.

The report also determined that helmets do not prevent concussions in young athletes; however, they have been proven effective in preventing skull fractures and more serious traumatic brain injuries and should continue to be used in competitive and recreational sports.

“The committee found that research was needed to better understand the biomechanics of how pediatric concussions occur before any protective device can be scientifically proven to prevent them,” Dr. Arbogast noted in a CIRP blog post.

Dr. Arbogast studies the biomechanics of pediatric injury, child safety seats, and concussion care as the engineering core director and an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania. The committee of experts who contributed to the IOM report also included the University of Pennsylvania’s Susan S. Margulies, PhD.

For more information, and for links to CHOP concussion resources, see Dr. Arbogast’s blog post. To read the full report, click here.