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What should I do if I suspect a concussion?

After a person has suffered a concussion they may not be able to accurately assess their condition and they may think they are physically fit to return to the activity. If you think that a person may have suffered a concussion, you should immediately remove the person from the activity and ensure that they are assessed by a health care provider.

When can a person return to activity or learning?

Symptoms from a concussion can worsen later on in the day and over the next day or two. A person who has suffered a concussion should not return to any activity or learning until a health care provider has completed an assessment and provided guidance about how to manage the concussion. Concussions typically heal in about a week or two with proper rest and management. Not taking time to heal and rushing back to school or sports could result in permanent brain damage.

After a person suffers a concussion, they should gradually return to learning and activity and follow a simple, six-step process. Individuals should only return to activity when they have completed the six steps of the return to play guidelines and been cleared by a health care provider.

Return to Play Guidelines

Stage

Objective

Functional Exercises

1. No Activity Recovery
Complete cognitive and physical rest
2. Light Aerobic Activity Increase heart rate
Walking, cycling or swimming.
Keep intensity <70% heart rate max.
No resistance training
3. Sport-Specific Activity Add movement
Skating or running drills
No head impact activities
4. Non-Contact Drilling Exercise, coordination and cognitive load
Progression to more complex training drills
May start progressive resistance training
5. Full Contact Practice
Restore confidence and assess functional skills by coaching staff.
Following medical clearance, participate in normal training activities.
6. Return to Play
Normal play
Normal game play

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