Exercise May Help – Not Hurt – Children Recovering From a Concussion


Any parent with a child who’s suffered a concussion is a likely advocate for ‘taking-it-easy’, but a recent study conducted by a doctor at The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) is saying physical activity may actually accelerate their recovery time.

The study, which analyzed children between the ages of five and 18 who had suffered a head injury, found that those who engaged in physical activity early on recovered faster than those who did not. The reason for slower recovery times in children who opted for rest? The mental side effects associated with inactivity, which include depression, anxiety, and fatigue.

Despite the study’s findings, Roger Zemek – a lead researcher and pediatric doctor at CHEO – told CBC that parents shouldn’t let their children invade sports fields too soon after a trauma. High-risk activities like skating, skiing, and football are especially dangerous because they could cause a second, more severe, concussion. Zemek said, “The next steps in our research will also need to determine the ideal timing, type and duration of physical activity following concussions.” So while activity is encouraged, parents should be cautious to ensure their children don’t push themselves too hard – at least until more data is revealed.

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