Neurology Expert Forum
Concussion
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Concussion

How long should a child wait after concussion to return to football play and does amount of time with headache (over a week) delay return?

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The decision to return a player to full status after a concussion depends on the degree of the concussion. There is a practice guideline published by the American Academy of Neurology dealing with this topic. If the loss of consciousness was brief (seconds) and his neurologic examination and head imaging are normal then 1 week of rest (without symptoms) is reasonable. If the loss of consciousness is longer (minutes) and his neurologic examination and imaging are normal the period should be two weeks. Two concussions with loss of consciousness would require at least a month without play. Lastly, if there is any evidence of brain trauma (noted with a CT or MRI scan)then play should be suspended and future play discouraged. Given that he has had a headache for 1 week an MRI or CT scan would be reasonable to perform. These are only guidelines and the formal recommendations would need to be tailored to your childs specific case. I hope this helps.
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Thank you for your reply to my question.  It was exactly what I was looking for.
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