What to do if you Experience a Concussion

If you suspect a concussion, it is important to seek medical help from your doctor or Chiropractor as soon as possible. You should seek help IMMEDIATELY, if after experiencing head trauma, you experience symptoms such as:

  1. A headache, or confusion, that is getting worse

  2. Vomiting more than once

  3. Trouble walking or trouble with balance

  4. Seizure

  5. Unequal pupil size

  6. Increased neck stiffness

If you observe someone who has had a concussion seek help immediately if they exhibit strange behaviour or won’t wake up.

Most patients with mild symptoms will start to feel better within 48 – 72 hours, although it can take 2-4 weeks to be free of headaches.  The younger patient, the longer it takes to improve after a concussion.  The average recovery time for a child is 3 weeks.

Things to do for a concussion are:

  • Avoid strenuous activity for 24 hours after the injury

  • Rest

  • Do not take medications, aspirin, ibuprofen (advil) or sleeping pills without consulting with your physician

  • Eat a light soup, toast or crackers for 24 hours after the injury

  • Avoid alcohol

  • Avoid activities that require concentration, working at a computer, watching TV or reading

  • Avoid exposure to bright or flashing lights if they provoke the headache or other symptoms

If your Child Suffers a Concussion

If your child is injured during a sport, they should STOP athletic activity immediately!  They should not be left alone and should be taken for evaluation as soon as possible.  If the child has lost consciousness, they should be taken to the hospital by ambulance.  Do not move the child until paramedics arrive.  Expect signs and symptoms to last for 7 – 10 days.  In some cases, the child may take weeks or months to recover.  If your child has had a previous concussion, it may take longer for them to recover.

When can my Child Return to School?

Sometimes a child that suffers a concussion can find it difficult to concentrate and could potentially feel ill or get a headache if they are in school.  Children should stay at home if their symptoms get worse while attending school.  Once they feel better, they can try going back to school, at first, for half days, and if they are okay with that, then they can go back full time.

When can my Child Return to Sport?

It is very important that your child not go back to sports if they have any concussion symptoms.  If they go back too soon, their symptoms may be present longer.  Return to sport and activity should follow a step-wise approach.  Each step should take between 24 hours and 1 week. 

Step 1: No activity, complete rest.  Once back to normal and cleared by doctor, go to step 2.

Step 2: Light exercise such as walking or stationary cycling, for 10 – 15 minutes.

Step 3: Sport specific activity (ie. skating in hockey, running in soccer), for 20 – 30 minutes.

Step 4: “On field” practice with body contact, once cleared by your doctor.

Step 5: Game play.

If your child has any symptoms of a concussion (e.g. headache, feeling sick to their stomach) that come back either during activity, or later that day, your child should stop the activity immediately and rest for 24 hours.  Proceed again to the next level following this rest.

 Please let us know if you have questions or concerns.