Return To Activity

Why do we need a Return to Play Protocol?
After cognitive rest although concussion symptoms may go away the brain may not be fully healed. The purpose of the return to play protocol is to increase your child’s physical activity level and heart rate to ensure concussion symptoms do not return and the brain is fully healed. Physical activity can increase the intra cranial pressure, decrease glucose availability for the brain, or cause the brain to move violently in the skull, any of these can make symptoms worse when the brain is still healing. Letting a concussed child return to physical activity before they are ready increases the risk for further or re-injury which can result in prolonged concussion symptoms.
All physical activity should be stopped at the time of a concussion until instructed by a physician. Once the brain is able to handle full day of school without breaks and complete all daily assignments and homework, along with physician approval, then a return to play protocol can be implemented. The return to play protocols are designed to safely return a child to their normal activities on the playground, at home and in sports. Return to play guidelines are specific to an individual’s regular activities or sport. These guidelines should be performed under the direct supervision of a healthcare professional, such as your school athletic trainer.

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