Ask The Pediatrician…… When Can My Child Go Back To Sports?


Hi Dr. Katie, I love Forever Freckled and appreciate you taking the time out to answer my question. My daughter is 10 years old and a competitive cheerleader. About a week ago, she fell during a stunt and suffered a concussion. I had her evaluated by her pediatrician, who instructed her not to return to cheerleading for a week.  Unfortunately, it has been a week and she is still complaining of a headache. Cheerleading is very important to her and she really wants to attend her practices. I wanted to know what your thoughts were about her slowly returning back to practice? Is it normal for her to still complain of  a headache? Thanks so much! Keri


I know how important competitive sports can be and completely understand your daughter’s strong desire to get back to the sport she loves. The recovery time of a concussion can vary depending upon the child and the severity of the head injury. Typically symptoms resolve after seven to ten days, but some children continue to have symptoms for weeks or even months.  The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly urges that children refrane from all sporting activities until they are completely clear of all symptoms, which would include a headache. Although I wouldn’t recommend her participating in the practice, it might be nice for her to go and watch. She can still feel like she is part of the team, but isn’t risking the chance of re-injuring herself or making the symptoms worse. I would make an appointment for her re-evaluated by her pediatrician. Another suggestion, would be to see if there are any concussion clinics in your area. These clinics were specifically created to help children with post concussion symptoms and guide parents with return to school and sporting activities.

Hope this helps you with your Journey!! Wishing you a happy and safe new year.

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