Need to for teens to take concussion recovery slowly

OhioHealth athletic trainer Tiffany Estes says every concussion is different and so is recovery time. (WSYX/WTTE)

A teenager can experience a concussion in any sport. Returning to play should be taken slowly.

Kellan Grainger is well-rounded when it comes to sports. He plays high school football, lacrosse and wrestling, which is his favorite.

"Something about individual victory, I just really enjoy," said Grainger.

A blow to the head during a match temporarily knocked him off the mat.

"He hit me like right up here on my eyebrow and I had to get 10 stitches," said Grainger.

There was more to his injury than just on the surface.

"I remember being dazed and confused," said Grainger.

A day later, Kellan realized he had a concussion.

"That was it for the season," said Grainger.

OhioHealth athletic trainer Tiffany Estes says every concussion is different and so is recovery time.

"They could be potentially very serious depending on how bad it is or if there's a bleed or no bleed," said Estes.

Kellan had trouble concentrating in the classroom.

"I was sleeping for 12 hours a night, then I would have 4 or 5 naps a day," said Grainger.

Both are among the symptoms.

"Headache, nausea, lightheaded, dizzy," said Estes.

The only way to return to play safely is patience and rest.

"It's really important to follow a gradual return to play progression after an individual sustains a concussion," said Estes.

Estes says if you go back too soon, you could risk developing second impact syndrome if the first concussion didn't heal properly.

"It can result in anything from brain damage or paralysis or anything permanent neurologically," said Estes.

Kellan knew of the risks.

"It's better to be mentally there than physically there," said Grainger.

He went through stages of recovery with limited workouts. Kellan ended up getting well enough to play lacrosse.

"First, I had to make it through a whole day of school with no headaches," said Grainger.

He says advice from his mother kept his focus on the future.

"Don't get into it too quickly, because you have big things ahead of you, you need to be ready for that," said Grainger.

Estes says it could take anywhere from days, weeks, even years to fully recover from a concussion and that teens need to see a doctor before being allowed to play a full-contact sport at school.

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