AFTER A CONCUSSION
Helping your child return to school and play
Immediately following the injury, your child should rest their mind (brain and body) as much as possible. This may mean no school or homework and only 15 minutes per hour of TV and computer/video time. Keep in mind that simply watching video and TV can make your child’s symptoms worse.
As your child feels better, slowly introduce light mental activities such as watching TV, listening to audio books, drawing or cooking. Stop these activities if your child starts to feel worse (dizzy, headache). At first, your child may only be able to do five to 15 minutes of mental effort at a time. If the symptoms don’t worsen, you can add to the length of the effort.
Slowly add schoolwork to your child’s light mental activity. Start with up to 30 minutes per hour and build from there.
Your child should rest their body until they feel better and the signs of the injury improve. Your child doesn’t need to stay in bed,but limit them to light walking for up to 20 minutes. Do not let them break a sweat or do any activity that causes the symptoms to return.
When concussion symptoms subside, your child may engage in exercise such as fast walking and stationary cycling; however, they should stop if the symptoms return. Do not allow weightlifting at this phase.
Your child shouldn't move to the next step until they can go through a full day of school without feeling any symptoms.
Once your child has been able to do light exercise and go to school, they can start doing mild exercise or exercises that are part of their sport; for example, jogging, short periods of running, mild stationary biking, throwing a baseball and kicking a soccer ball. They should avoid any activity where they might get hit in the head.
At this point, your child can take part in more strenuous exercises: sprinting/running, hard stationary biking, weightlifting and drills. But keep it to non-contact activities.
Ask your child’s doctor if they’re ready for play or sports with contact.
*If your child is still feeling effects of the concussion for more than two weeks, talk with your doctor about seeing a specialist who can address issues with balance, dizziness, thinking and memory.
Call 911 if your child has any of these signs:
Weakness or tingling in the arms or legs
Cannot recognize people or places
Confused, restless or agitated
Hard to stir or to wake up
Repeated throwing up (vomiting)
For more information, contact the Legacy Concussion Program at 503-672-6005.
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