Physical Therapists & Pediatric Brain Injury

As any parent knows, when a child incurs a head injury it’s critical to make sure they receive prompt and thorough treatment. Through sports play, tumbles, and kids simply being kids, we treat a number of pediatric concussions each year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through its National Center for injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), has announced the creation of the Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Guideline Workgroup. Two American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) members were chosen to serve as members of the workgroup to represent the perspective of physical therapists in concussion management both on and off the sports field. The convening of this workgroup is a positive step toward the development of national guidelines for the evaluation and management of pediatric concussions that recognize the role of physical therapists. The CDC estimates that the guidelines will be released in the spring of 2014.

This initiative began as a major component of the Concussion Treatment and Care Tools (ConTACT) Act, legislation that was not passed into law but influenced the eventual creation of the CDC workgroup. APTA supported and advocated for the legislation in past congressional sessions. APTA has been actively involved with the CDC, legislators, and other stakeholder groups regarding this initiative and will continue to stay engaged in the process to ensure that the role physical therapy plays in concussion management is effectively represented.

It is important to note that this work comes as concussion policies have come to the forefront on the local, state and federal level. In an effort to remain on the cutting edge of concussion treatment, APTA has developed several resources, including the Physical Therapists Guide to Concussion and the “Head in the Game” series, to assist PTs and PTAs in diagnosing and treating concussions.

If you have any questions on head injuries and concussions in children, feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to discuss things with you further.

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