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Healthcare professionals, including pediatricians, primary care physicians and emergency personnel, as well as sports medicine, rehabilitation and neurology/neurosurgery specialists may all be involved in coordinating and monitoring treatment of injured patients. Many children and teens can be managed by a primary care physician with basic training in concussion evaluation and management, while some will require more specialized concussion evaluation and treatment because of a more complicated injury and recovery.


  • All concussions are serious, but the vast majority get better without long-term consequences.
  • Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness.
  • Recognition and proper response to concussions when they first occur can help prevent further injury and prolonged recovery.
  • When in doubt, sit them out.
  • Proper concussion management requires individualized recommendations to address activities across the home, school, and recreation environments.
  • Since around 2015, strict rest or “cocoon therapy,” which involves a reduction in all activities including any exercise, any social contact, no school-related work, and severely reduced stimuli like lights and noises, is not recommended beyond the first 24-48 hours, and only during that early time period if symptoms are severe.
  • Light exercise has emerged as one of the best treatments for concussion, and even light exercise in the first week of injury – with attention paid to how the child is responding – has been determined to be safe.
  • An earlier return to school may not be bad for recovery from a concussion. Individual factors should be considered related to the supports available to the individual in the school, and the associated stress – or lack of progress towards recovery when out of school. Individually-based factors remains the best guide for determining when a return to (non-contact) activities is appropriate.

What Children’s National Hospital Offers

The Children’s National SCORE Concussion program advocates nationally for best practices in concussion diagnosis, treatment, management and research. This includes the recommendation that a patient have a full assessment by a healthcare professional with training in concussion evaluation and management after a suspected or actual concussion before returning to their normal activities at home and school as well as sport participation.

Partnering in Care 

If a patient has suffered a concussion and you would like a specialty consultation or evaluation to assist you in developing a management plan, please call our appointment line at 202-476-2429. 

Essential Concussion Care for Long-Term Recovery

Experts in our interdisciplinary Comprehensive Concussion Program care for children, adolescents and young adults who have persisting symptoms after a concussion, providing an array of treatment services including medication management, strategies for alleviating pain and stress, school supports and more as they recover.

Resources for Healthcare Providers

We have partnered with colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in developing these resources useful in caring for young athletes:

We have developed other measures to track recovery from concussion. Please contact our program with questions.

Training Seminars

As a primary author of the CDC’s Heads Up: Brain Injury in Your Practice, we offer educational seminars to healthcare colleagues and organizations to train in clinical skills for concussion evaluation and management. If you would like to learn more, please contact us.

Helpful Websites