A new study found most parents rely on outdated and popular misconceptions about concussion treatments that could actually make a child’s concussion symptoms worse. “In the past, there was often a tendency to downplay the significance of concussions,” said Christopher Giza, a pediatric neurologist at UCLA. “Now some parents go too far the other direction and, despite their best intentions, they can inadvertently complicate their child’s recovery.”
More than three-quarters of parents nationwide said they would likely wake up a child with a concussion multiple times throughout night to check up on him or her. Doing that, though, actually slows healing in the brain, Giza said. “Their headache is going to be worse. Their memory’s going to be worse. Their mood’s going to be worse,” he said. “All those things that we monitor for concussion will get worse if we don’t let them sleep.” A vast majority of parents, 84%, said they would also likely restrict their child from any physical activity after a concussion. Yet some light physical activity outdoors — jogging around a park or walking the dog — actually helps a recovering child, providing fresh air and encouraging a sense of normalcy, Giza said.