Steps to Take When a Teenager Suffers a Concussion

Source: Caring for Your Teenager (© 2003 American Academy of Pediatrics)
  Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3
Symptoms
  • Temporary confusion
  • No loss of consciousness
  • Concussion symptoms resolve and/or mental state returns to normal within 15 minutes
  • Temporary confusion
  • No loss of consciousness
  • Concussion symptoms and/or altered mental state persist for more than 15 minutes
  • Loss of consciousness for any length of time
Immediate Precautions
  • The young athlete should go to the sidelines and be evaluated immediately and at 5-minute intervals by a coach, trainer or others experienced in handling head injuries.
  • After 15 minutes with no improvement, the yound athlete should be kept from returning to the game.
  • The young athlete should see a physician the next day or that day if symptoms persist.
  • In order to be cleared to return to play, the young athlete sould undergo a neurologic exam q full week after the symptoms subside.
  • Call the local emergency medical service immediately.
  • The young athlete should be taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital emergency department for a thorough neurologic examination.
Return to Action
  • Minimum of 15 minutes. Most experts feel a child should not return to play on the same day if he has any level of concussion, including grade 1.
  • 1 week, with physician's clearance
  • 2 weeks, with physician's clearance
  If multiple grade 1 concussions are experienced or this
is not the young athlete's first grade 2 or 3:
 
  • 1 week, with physician's clearance
  • 2 weeks, with physician's clearance
  • 1 month or longer, as determined by the evaluating physician