Go through the following steps to help your child return to school and sport. Your child will be ready to move on to the next step when they can do the activities and handle their symptoms well. If your child has trouble handling symptoms, do the activity in the step for less time or go back to the previous step until they are ready to move to the next step. Your child can begin the Return to Sport steps at the same time they begin the Return to School steps.
Give your child support and encouragement through their recovery and as they work through these steps. Make sure your child doesn’t work through the steps too quickly and takes rest breaks when they need to. If you child is not better after 4 weeks or isn’t ready to move on to the next step after 1 to 2 weeks, talk to your healthcare provider and ask for a referral to a pediatrician (a doctor who specializes in children’s health), a concussion specialist, or a neurologist.
Getting your child back to school will help them get back to doing regular activities again. It may take your child a few days or up to 2 weeks to finish the steps of returning to school full-time.
Step 1 – Start at home activities
Step 2 – Going back to school
Step 3 – Near-normal routine
Step 4 – Back to school full-time
Your child can begin the Return to Sport steps at the same time they begin the Return to School steps. Your child will be ready to move on to the next Return to Sport step when they are able to do the activities and handle their symptoms well. Spend at least 1 day on each of the Return to Sport steps.
It’s important that your child has gone back to school full-time before you ask their healthcare provider to give them medical clearance for full contact practice and game play.
If your child is part of a high-level organized sport, talk to a sports medicine doctor before they return to regular sports activities.
After 1 to 2 days of rest, your child can start doing regular day-to-day activities, such as reading, texting, and having screen time, as well as light walking, as long as their symptoms don’t get worse. They can start doing 5 to 15 minutes of these activities at a time, and slowly start doing them for more time.
Step 2 – Light aerobic exercise
Step 3 – Sport-specific training and exercise
Step 4 – Drills with no contact
Step 5 – Medical clearance for full contact
Get medical clearance from a healthcare provider experienced with treating concussions before your child starts to do full contact play in their sport.
Step 6 – Full contact training and game play
Start with scrimmages with teammates and work up to regular competitive games.
For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information, call Health Link at 811.
Current as of: January 14, 2020
Author: Maternal Newborn Child and Youth Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services
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