A new Canadian paper is arguing that sports-related concussions in children constitute a significant public health issue which requires serious reform in public policy.
The article appears in an online publication of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and was written by two Ontario doctors.
It suggests there is an ethical responsibility to take action on the issue.
The article notes the U-S Centers for Disease Control labelled sports-related concussions a public health problem in 2003, but youth continue to suffer ``often preventable brain injuries'' while playing sports.
To deal with concussions as a public health issue, the article suggests ``dramatic rule changes'' be made to games children play.
It also suggests increasing the size of playing surfaces to lower the chances of collisions in sports, decreasing the number of participants on a field of play and considering the elimination of the use of the head in games like soccer.
It goes on to suggest enforcing significant suspensions to participants or supervising adults who are involved in games in which head injuries occur.
The paper also says it's important that publicly funded education on concussion be provided to children from a young age so they can take action themselves when they're hit in the head.