Concussions and Our Kids: America’s Leading Expert on How to Protect Young Athletes and Keep Sports Safe

Robert Cantu, Author, Mark Hyman, Author
Robert Cantu and Mark Hyman. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25 (208p) ISBN 978-0-547-77394-0
Reviewed on: 09/03/2012
Release date: 09/11/2012
Paperback - 195 pages - 978-0-544-10223-1
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-547-77403-9
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Cantu, chief of neurosurgery and chairman of the department of surgery at Emerson Hospital and co-director of Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, teams up with sports journalist Hyman to cover concussions in kids’ sports. The authors present some sobering facts: four million concussions are recognized in children each year, with many times that number actually occurring. Cantu clearly defines a concussion, describes its symptoms and therapy (cognitive and physical rest), dispels myths, and clarifies the dangers. He points out that children are the most vulnerable, with weak necks, immature musculature, and brains that are still developing, and notes that a concussion can occur without direct impact to the head. Throughout this reasoned yet cautionary text, the authors arm readers with critical information, addressing postconcussion syndrome, second impact syndrome, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. While noting that team sports have many benefits, they stress the importance of following such safety guidelines as removing a player from the game when a concussion occurs or is suspected. Each sport receives the author’s scrutiny as he calls for awareness, honest dialogue, and meaningful change. Appropriately, Cantu’s mantra is “no head trauma is good head trauma.” His life-saving message should be mandatory reading for all those involved in kids’ sports. (Sept.)
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