What should you do if your child suffers a possible concussion?
If symptoms are severe, call 911. Call your health care provider to make an appointment for your child to be evaluated. If the concussion symptoms appear to be getting progressively worse, take your child to the Emergency Room ASAP. Symptoms might not show up for hours or even days, so stay vigilant. If you notice symptoms but are not sure if you should go to the doctor, err on the side of caution and go.
If your student had a baseline test, contact the clinician who administered the test as soon as possible for an appointment for your child to retake the test. If you would like information about baseline testing options, please contact your school or Schurig Center for Brain Injury Recovery.
Once a concussion has been confirmed, speak with all of your child’s teachers, as well as the school administration, to let them know that your son or daughter needs some time off from school in order to heal properly. This time of rest is very important for a quick recovery. Teachers and administrators should be understanding of your student's need to rest.
Also speak with your child’s coach(es) to let them know what has occurred. They may also have some helpful hints for recovery as well as reassuring words for the athlete.
Ask for a clearance note from your pediatrician when recovery time is complete. Student athletes will not be allowed to return to their sport without written approval from their physician (not the hospital ER doctor.)
It is important to remember that no specific person or test can tell you exactly when your child is ready to go back into play. All things noted above are only tools that should be used together to decide when it is safe for your son or daughter to return to activity. It is also very important to ask your child how they are feeling over the course of the recovery time. Tell them that they need to be honest with you because if they return too soon, they run the risk of suffering a more serious, and possibly fatal, concussion. Ultimately it is up to you, the parent or guardian, to make the final decision when to send your child back to school, sports and other activities. You are your child’s advocate and you know them better than anyone else.