Both physical and cognitive rest are important afer a child suffers a concussion playing sports in order to allow the brain to heal, says Dr. Robert Cantu. Parents should understand that:
Physical rest is important, but not complete bed rest. Studies have shown a relationship between postconcussion activity level and performance on neurocognitive tests, with athletes engaging in the highest levels of activity performing the worst on such tests. Thus, children should only engage in moderate levels of activity after a concussion in order not to slow down recovery, resuming normal activities such as driving and daily chores only after symptoms begin to clear or decrease in severity and engaging in exercise or training only after symptoms have completely cleared, with a return to physical and mental rest if symptoms recur either at rest or with exertion; and
- Cognitive rest is equally important. Because activities that require concentration and attention may exacerbate post-concussion symptoms and delay recovery, youth athletes who have sustained concussions should limit activities that require attention and concentration (e.g., homework, playing video games or engaging in text messaging) while symptomatic.