Concussion Clinic - First 14 Days
What you should do for the first 1-14 days after a Concussion
After a concussion you need to take it easy and rest for 2-3 days – maybe longer, depending on your situation. This time allows your brain and body’s response to the injury to begin to heal. You need rest, you will get better.
- Pay attention to your symptoms.
- Avoid activities that make your symptoms worse until you start to feel better.
- As you start to feel better at rest, start to return to activities following the Walking Program Guidelines and other recommendations given by your medical provider.
- During this time, DO NOT participate in any sports activities until you are cleared to do so.
- If symptoms continue, you may be seen by other members of the concussion team, such as neuropsychology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech/language pathology.
Physical rest is defined as avoiding activities that increase your heart rate.
- Sit or even stand as much as possible during the day.
- Do normal activities: eat meals with your family, follow your normal sleep/wake schedule, perform all personal hygiene activities, and spend time each day sitting at a table/desk as if you were at school (even if all you do here is socialize with family and friends).
- Do not participate in any structured exercise until told to do so.
- If you start to feel better after 2-3 days, you can begin the easy walking program described below.
- If you have strong symptoms, limit walking to inside your home (or a maximum of 10 minutes) until you have your physical therapy evaluation.
- Let your symptoms guide you: If you start to get symptoms, decrease your activity.
Cognitive rest means avoiding activities that require concentration and focus.
- Limit activities such as working on a computer, driving, watching TV, reading, texting, studying, playing video games, or other activities that cause symptoms to appear or get worse.
- Many students find these limits hard to follow because they are a routine part of their lives. Explain to students that ignoring symptoms and trying to “tough it out” may make symptoms worse and healing can take longer.
- Cognitive activity can increase as the student feels better. The time it takes is different from one student to another.
- See the CDC’s “Returning to School after a Concussion: A Fact Sheet for School Professionals” for more information on what to do about school during the rest and recovery period.
- The concussion clinic will provide school and academic recommendations.
This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Family Resource Center library, or visit www.childrensmn.org/educationmaterials.
© 2018 Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota