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Incremental physical activity after a safe concussion in children: study

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Incremental physical activity after a safe concussion in children: study

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A recent study from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa found evidence to suggest that it is safe for children to return to physical activity 72 hours after a concussion.

The study, led by researchers at the CHEO Research Institute and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that resuming non-contact physical activity 72 hours after a concussion is not only safe for children and young people, but may produce better results, including reduced symptoms.

CHEO describes the research as the first and largest real-world randomized clinical trial on the subject conducted in children and young people between the ages of 10 and 18.

“The days of resting in a dark room are over,” said Andrée-Anne Ledoux, corresponding author of the study and scientist at the CHEO Research Institute, in a statement.

“The results of this study should give all healthcare professionals caring for children with concussions the confidence to prescribe an early and controlled return to physical activity, even if they have symptoms” , said Ledoux, who is also an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa.

The researchers divided 456 participants into two groups. Members of one group rested until their symptoms resolved, while the second group reintroduced physical activity 72 hours after the concussion according to a defined protocol.

Participants answered a standard survey about their symptoms, and researchers used an accelerometer to record participants’ activity levels.

The study found that symptoms were comparable between the two groups after two weeks, but those who reintroduced physical activity early showed better improvement and a reduced rate of delayed recovery compared to those who continued to rest. until they no longer show symptoms.

Researchers suggest young people should start walking for 15 minutes at a moderate level 72 hours after their injury.

As long as the symptoms are tolerable, the study advises young people to increase the intensity the following day, for example with a light jog.

If a child’s concussion symptoms are not tolerable during or after physical activity, the study recommends returning to the last well-tolerated physical activity and trying to increase the intensity again after 24 hours.

Researchers say a primary care provider must also release a child before returning to contact sports.

Incremental physical activity after a safe concussion in children: study

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