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The Concussive Athlete

What to do if a concussion is suspected

The day of the injury, the athlete should not be allowed to return to play in the game or practice if a concussion is suspected. The concussive athlete should not be left alone and should be monitored regularly for any signs of deterioration in their condition or signs of emergency.

Parents of student athletes should follow these tips:

  • See the athletic trainer as soon as possible
  • Consult a healthcare professional
  • Rest
  • No sleeping medications should be administered. Instead use acetaminophen or codeine for the headache. DO NOT administer aspirin or any anti-inflammatory medications.
  • The student athlete should NOT drive until medially cleared.
  • No physical education classes/exercise/sports until medically cleared.
  • No school, homework, computer use, texting, video games, television or loud music.

Proper concussion care tips:

  • Rest – physical and cognitive – is essential in the early recovery stages.
  • Clearance to return to sports should be withheld until all symptoms have cleared, particularly headaches.
  • Teachers, guidance counselors and school administrators can play a role in identifying if a concussive student is showing any complications or prolonged recovery. Include them in the care plan!
  • Concussed students go through various phases of recovery, and rates of recovery can differ among each individual.
  • Return-to-Learn Concept. Gradually increase cognitive function/challenges without causing post-concussive symptoms to worsen.

For more information on concussion or to schedule an appointment with a Summa sports health professional for post-concussion treatment, please call (888) 778-6627.