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Returning to Play After a Concussion

A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury caused by a forceful blow or jolt to the head or body that disrupts how the brain normally works. A person does not need to be knocked out or lose consciousness to have a concussion. Many parents wonder if it is safe for their young athlete to return to playing football, soccer, lacrosse or other sports after a concussion. An appropriately trained healthcare provider can answer these questions and provide guidance on when it is safe and sensible for an athlete to return to sports.

The importance of concussion recovery

Athletes should not be allowed to continue playing sports, including practices and conditioning, while recovering from a concussion for a variety of reasons:

  • Recovery time: In one study among high school athletes, athletes who were immediately removed from play after a concussion recovered twice as fast as athletes who continued to participate.
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