In order to resume activity, the athlete must be symptom free and off any pain control or headache medications that they were not taking prior to the concussion.
While we believe it is the parents decision, in consultation with their medical professional when their child is ready to return to play, we also believe in erring on the side of caution.
We allow for the parents and their medical professional to decide what is best for their athlete but recommend they follow the WIAA guidelines for returning to play.
The WIAA program described below is a guideline for returning concussed athletes when they are symptom free. Athletes with multiple concussions and athletes with prolonged symptoms often require a prolonged or different return to activity program and should be managed by a physician that has experience in treating concussion.
The following program allows for one step per 24 hours. The program allows for a gradual increase in heart rate/physical exertion, coordination, and then allows contact. If symptoms return, the athlete should stop activity and notify their healthcare provider before progressing to the next level.
STAGE ONE: Daily activities that do not increase symptoms (gradual reintroduction of school, work and walking).
STAGE TWO: Light aerobic exercise: slow to medium pace jogging, stationary cycling. No resistance training. This allows for increased heart rate.
STAGE THREE: Sport-specific exercise: moderate to higher intensity running or skating drills, but no activities with risk of head impact. This allows for increased heart rate and agility/movement.
STAGE FOUR: Non-contact training: Higher intensity aerobic fitness, and non-contact/non-collision team training drills (e.g., passing drills). May begin progressive resistance training. This increases coordination and thinking during sport.
STAGE FIVE: Full contact practice. Following medical clearance, participate fully in normal training activities. This restores confidence and allows coaches to assess functional skills.
STAGE SIX: Full clearance / Normal game play.