Children and teenagers who sustain concussions during athletic play should sit on the bench until they have been evaluated--and cleared--by a medical professional, according to new guidelines released Monday by the American Academy of Neurology. The new guidelines, which are the first revisions to concussion management since 1997, don't provide a set time before an athlete can return to play, but recommend that doctors evaluate the athlete and then make a determination of the safest time to return to the game. More from NBC News:
"The message we're sending is that any time a concussion is suspected, even if you're not sure, you should sit that player out until there has been an evaluation by a medical provider with concussion expertise," said the guidelines' lead author, Dr. Christopher Giza, an associate professor of pediatric neurology and neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine and the Mattel Children's Hospital at the University of California, Los Angeles.
"We say: 'If in doubt, sit them out'."