Players suspected to have concussions are benched for at least five days, Woodard says. Some concussions are worse than others.
Returning to a sport before being cleared from a concussion makes students vulnerable to “second-impact syndrome,” in which the brain swells rapidly after receiving a second concussion before the first one has healed, Woodard says. It can cause brain damage or even death.
Sleep and rest are the best treatments for concussion.
“It’s the same as putting ice on an acute injury,” Woodard says. “The brain needs rest to heal.”
Symptoms of concussion, which include headache, dizziness, nausea and increased sensitivity to light or sound, typically appear within the first 72 hours after the injury occurs.
Some symptoms might not be traditional. For example, some athletes have experienced hot flashes, Woodard says.
If a parent believes a student-athlete has suffered a concussion, it’s important to have the athlete evaluated by a qualified medical provider as soon as possible.