The new school year and the fall sports season are just around the corner. For parents of children with epilepsy this can create many concerns, such as making sure their child receives an education in a medically safe environment, insuring the student receives any accommodation their child may need in the classroom and creating a supportive environment from school staff and the child’s peers.

Another consideration is allowing their child to take part in extracurricular activities such as sports. Sports can play an important part in building the child’s self-esteem through learning about teamwork, overcoming adversity and good sportsmanship. Like everything in life, playing sports can come with risks. One of the leading risks we hear about at all level of sports is concussions. This is of special concern when you have epilepsy, as head trauma is one of the leading causes for seizures.

The CDC and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) have some wonderful new resources available for parents, coaches and school officials on the issue of concussions in school age children. They provide sound medical advice about concussions, list guidelines on how long a child should be sidelined if they have a concussion, and also offer sports-specific coaching techniques that can minimize the likelihood of a head trauma.

We hope parents, coaches and school officials will take the time to educate themselves on the issue of concussion in young athletes by visiting http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/headsup/youth.html or www.choa.org/concussion.