To maximize your child’s recovery from concussion, double up on the Rs: REDUCE and REST! Insist that your child rest, especially for the first few days following the concussion and through the three-week recovery period. Some symptoms of concussion can be so severe on the first day to two that your child may need to stay home from school.
When you child returns to school, request that he/she be allowed to “sit out” of sports, recess and physical education classes immediately after the concussion. Work with your Primary Care Practitioner to determine when your child is ready to return to physical activity, recess and/or PE classes.
Don’t let your child convince you he/she will rest “later” (after the prom, after finals, etc.). Rest must happen immediately! The school team will help your child reduce their academic load. However, it is your job to help to reduce sensory load at home. Advise your child/teen to:
- Avoid loud group functions (games, dances)
- Limit video games, text messaging, social media, and computer screen time
- Limit reading and homework A concussion will almost universally slow reaction time; therefore, driving should not be allowed pending medical clearance.
Plenty of sleep and quiet, restful activities after the concussion maximizes your child’s chances for a great recovery! The Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa provides Neuro-Resource Facilitation, a free and confidential service offered to individuals with brain injury and their families. This program offers support in coping with the issues of living with brain injury and transition back to school and the community.
Source: Iowa Concussion Consortium
Additional supplemental information about concussion and other brain injuries can be found at www.biaia.org/ICC