Return to Sport Post Concussion

When can my kiddo return to play after a concussion?  When is it safe? How much will he/she miss?

Here’s the science (according to the CDC):  

A concussion is A BRAIN INJURY.  It’s when the brain, which floats about in the skull, makes contact with the skull due to an external force, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.

Here’s What To Look Out For:

Concussion symptoms can be (but are not limited to): Headaches, dizziness, confusion, clumsiness, loss of memory, nausea/vomiting, loss of consciousness, mood or behavior changes.  Continue to check for signs of concussion right after the injury and a few days after. If concussion signs or symptoms get worse, you should take him or her to the emergency department right away.

Ok, my kid has a concussion.  NOW WHAT???

First, take your kiddo to the doctor.  Based on his/her recommendation, you’ll be able to find out if you need to go to a concussion specialist. Make some short-term changes to your child’s daily activities.  Anything that triggers symptoms should be avoided. Anything that doesn’t is ok to do. Your child’s symptoms will dictate their recovery. It’s UBER important that you explain to your kiddo that honesty is the best policy here.  If they don’t report symptoms, their concussion can last a lot longer, or get worse. EACH CHILD IS UNIQUE, THEREFORE CONCUSSIVE SYMPTOMS CAN LAST FROM WEEKS TO MONTHS.

My kiddo has been symptom free for 24 hours:)  What now?

Now that concussion symptoms have been gone for 24 hours, your little person can start a Return to Play Protocol with a healthcare professional.  It’s a 5 or 6 stage progressive protocol (depending on who you ask) that’s based on your child’s symptoms. The stages are: Return to regular activity (like school), light aerobic activity, moderate aerobic activity, heavy non-contact activity, practice and full contact and return to competition. Once through the protocol, your kiddo is ready to go!!!

Bottom Line:)

If you think your kiddo is concussed, please take them to a doctor as soon as you can. When he/she is symptom free for at least 24 hours, they can start the Return to Play Protocol. Let’s make sure they are fully recovered and ready to go so that they can return to play successfully!


Contact Karen for Return to Play at or 973-738-2400.