Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has long been referred to as the “silent epidemic.” Although TBI is quite prevalent, individuals who suffer from its disabling symptoms often do not show any outward signs of trauma.

Concussions are the mildest and most common form of TBI, resulting in 144,000 emergency department visits annually (

Meehan
WP
,
Mannix
R.
J Pediatr
2010
;
157
:
889
-893
).

Recent media coverage on TBI, especially in young athletes, has elevated the public’s awareness regarding such injuries. Of significant importance to any medical professional caring for children with concussions are the recent efforts of organized sports governing bodies and state and federal legislators to mandate standardized management of the amateur athlete who suffers a sport-related concussion.

The TBI suffered by Zackery Lystedt, a high school football player in Washington state, precipitated the recent spate of regulations. In 2006, the 13-year-old sustained a mild TBI...

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