Just Use Your Head!
Almost all uncomplicated concussions in children and adolescents resolve gradually and completely over a period of a few days to 3 weeks. Your brain will recover on its own — there is no special program or set of things you need to do except give your brain a chance to heal itself. Here are some ways you can make sure your brain makes a full recovery after you have had a concussion.
Keep your head out of traffic for awhile
- Don’t participate in any activity in which there is any chance that your head is going to get hit or jostled
- How long is "a while?" It’s hard to know, but at least 8 days.
- About 1/3 of kids seem healed enough to go back to sports in about 10 days, another 1/3 in 2 weeks, and 1/3 take more than 3 weeks before their brains are recovered from their concussion.
- Talk with your doctor, school nurse or psychologist, Athletic Trainer, or other people who know about concussion management about how you’re feeling. They will help make the decision about when it is safe for you to go back to sports and other activities in which your brain might get hurt again.
Do not use any alcohol or drugs
- Alcohol kills brain cells and drugs interfere with the normal chemical and electrical processes of your brain.
- Both are bad for developing brains, but they are very harmful when your brain is already injured.
- Ask your doctor about any prescribed medications you are taking.
Tell your school nurse or psychologist that you’ve had a concussion
- Your school team will set up a meeting to reduce your academic demands and set up a plan to make sure that you are well supported during the time when you are recovering.
- There are tips for your school personnel on the back of this card.
Take off from school, work, and social activities for 2-3 days
- Get to bed early and sleep in the next day. Your body heals and grows while you sleep; the hours of sleep before midnight count double the hours after midnight in this regard!
- Listen to music, watch TV, talk with your friends, nap, eat. Don’t spend too much time on the computer.