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Clin J Sport Med. 2018 Nov 22. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000704. [Epub ahead of print]

CDC Guideline on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Children: Important Practice Takeaways for Sports Medicine Providers.

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Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.
Department of Emergency Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.
Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Department of Athletic Medicine, University Health Services, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.
Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine, Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, and Neurological Surgery, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington.



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an evidence-based guideline on the diagnosis and management of pediatric mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in 2018. This commentary provides key practice takeaways for sports medicine providers outlined in the Guideline recommendations.


The CDC Pediatric mTBI Guideline was developed through a rigorous scientific process using a modified Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) methodology. A systematic review of the scientific literature published over a 25-year period for all causes of pediatric mTBI formed the basis of the Guideline.


The key practice takeaways for sports medicine providers focus on preseason evaluations, neuroimaging, symptom-based assessment, managing recovery, monitoring for persistent symptoms, and return to activity, including sport and school.


Sports medicine providers play an integral part in the implementation of evidence-based practices that promote appropriate diagnosis and management of mTBI in children. This commentary highlights key practice takeaways that sports medicine providers can implement.

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