Children's Hospital Colorado

The Truth About Concussions

A graphic with a teenage girl soccer player and the words: 3 myths about concussions. 1) It's okay to return to the game if you're unsure if a concussion has occurred. 2) If they weren't knocked out, it isn't a concussion. 3) My child should not go back to school until they are free of all concussion symptoms.
  1. Myth: My child wasn’t knocked out so it must not be a concussion.
    One does not need to be knocked out or lose consciousness to have a concussion.
  2. Myth:  My child should not go back to school until they are free from all concussion symptoms.
    Most students can return to school within a few days but may require additional school supports while recovering.  Keeping a child out of school for a long time often causes unintended academic, social, and emotional problems.
  3. Myth:  Following a concussion, a child needs complete brain rest both from physical activity and cognitive activity.
    In the first few days following a concussion it can be helpful to reduce stimulation, but there is no good evidence that reading, watching TV or texting will prolong concussion symptoms.  There’s also no compelling research to indicate that complete rest is an effective long-term treatment following a concussion.  
  4. Myth:  Because no one was sure it was a concussion, our child returned to play and finished out the game. 
    Colorado Senate Bill 40 mandates that if a concussion is suspected, the athlete must be removed from practice or play and can not return that same day.  Before returning to play, the athlete must be evaluated by a healthcare provider and receive written clearance allowing them to return to play.
  5. Myth: Concussions cause suicide.
    The cause of suicide is complex.  At the current time, no good scientific evidence supports a direct relationship between a history of concussion and suicide.  After a concussion (and many other injuries), children can experience increased stress and may demonstrate symptoms of depression and anxiety.  For example, stress can occur due to be removed from sports or friends or from falling behind in class work.  When emotional concerns persist after an injury, prompt behavioral health counseling is appropriate and often is helpful after even a few sessions.