Concussions | Frequently Asked Questions

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Can concussions cause any long-term problems?

A: Most kids recover from concussions with no lasting problems. But kids who have had one concussion are at greater risk for having future concussions. Each concussion, after the first, can cause more severe symptoms and require a longer recovery time. After several concussions, some children can have long-term changes in their abilities.

How do you know when a child is recovered?

A: It can take anywhere from 10 days to four weeks to recover from a concussion. But every child is different, so it’s important to work with your doctor to make sure your child is fully recovered before getting back to his or her regular routine, including schoolwork and sports.

Do helmets prevent concussions? 

A: Helmets do not prevent concussions. But they can help prevent more severe types of brain injury, so every athlete should wear a properly fitted, undamaged helmet.

Which sports carry the highest risk of concussion?

A: Virtually any sport or physical activity can result in concussions. Here at Boston Children’s, we’ve seen patients with concussions from playing football, ice hockey, baseball, softball, rugby, wrestling, lacrosse, soccer, basketball, field hockey, horseback riding and even swimming.

Does my child need to give up sports after a concussion?

A: Nearly every student athlete who has a concussion can eventually return to sports. The key is that the return needs to be gradual, after a period of rest and only with a doctor’s explicit permission. 

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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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