Should You Wake Your Child Every 20 Minutes After a Concussion?

Should You Wake Your Child Every 20 Minutes After a Concussion? by Elmira Family Chiropractic

Myth: Wake a concussed child every 20 minutes post concussion.

Fact: There was a time when it was considered life threatening to let someone fall asleep after suffering from a concussion. But current research shows that sleep is actually the best thing following a concussion. Physical and mental rest is crucial for recovery and although you don’t need to wake someone after head trauma every 20 minutes, they should not be left alone the first night and should be seen by a health care professional the next day.

Myth: If a player loses consciousness, they will suffer a more severe concussion than a player who didn’t lose consciousness.

Fact: A player getting ‘knocked out’ does not determine the severity of the concussion. Some people who don’t lose consciousness have more severe concussions than those that do. Severity might not be known for days or weeks after the event.

Myth: Athletes can tough it out and get back to sport soon after a concussion.

Fact: This is a serious mistake. Most concussive symptoms last 10-14 days, however metabolic changes in the brain often last up to 30 days. Multiple concussions can have a compounding effect and can take months and years to heal.

Myth: Helmets prevent concussions.

Fact: Helmets prevent fractures of the skull, not concussions. If a helmet is fitted properly it may reduce the risk or severity of a concussion, but not the concussion itself.

Myth: MRI or CT can rule out concussion.

Fact: Neither of these tests can detect most concussions. What they can do is pick up on structural damage to the brain and bleeding.

Myth: It is fine to return to school after a mild brain injury.

Fact: Going back to normal activities to quickly can delay proper healing and hinder recovery. Adding more input of math, reading, bright lights, and loud noises only causes more stress to the system.

Myth: Football is the most common cause of youth concussions.

Fact: Actually, biking is the leading cause of concussions in kids of all ages. Football is at the top of the list for organized sports in kids 12-15.

Myth: Concussions are solely an injury to the brain.

Fact: Acceleration of the body between 60 and 160g (g represents gravity) can result in concussions. Most concussions occur at 96.1g, however as little as little as 4.5g can sprain and strain of the cervical spine (i.e. the neck). It is improbable that a concussion can occur in absence of cervical spine trauma.

Concussions are a serious issue and are not to be taken lightly. To ensure the health of anyone post concussion visit a trained health professional. Chiropractors are the best-trained health professionals to get you started on your road to recovery. Visit a local one today.

For more information send us an email at and join us February 27th to learn How to Heal your Brain after a Concussion. Information available here.

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