Domain 4: Medical Clearance for Full Contact Sport or High-Risk Activity



Consider patients for medical clearance to return to full-contact activities and sport/game play if clinical criteria have been met.

Level of Evidence:   

The following clinical criteria should be considered or met before recommending that a child/adolescent returns to full-contact activities and sport/game play: 

  • Child/adolescent has successfully returned to all school activities including writing exams without symptoms above their previous pre-injury level or requiring accommodations related to their concussion/post-concussion symptoms, (e.g., child/adolescent may have pre-existing accommodations or new accommodations related to something other than their concussion).
  • Normal neurological and cervical spine examination.
  • Asymptomatic at rest (or back to the pre-injury state in patients with pre-existing conditions such as baseline headaches or mental health conditions). 
  • Tolerating physical activities and non-contact activities without any symptoms.
  • No longer taking any drugs or substances atypical to their pre-injury functioning that could mask symptom presentation.

For children/adolescents with complex medical histories (e.g., repeated concussion, baseline concussion-like symptoms), see Recommendation 5.1 for information regarding returning to full-contact sports or high-risk activities, or retirement from full-contact sports or high-risk activities.


Provide patients with a letter indicating medical clearance to return to all activities when medically cleared. 

Level of Evidence:  

Link: Canadian Guideline on Concussion in Sport Medical Clearance Letter (Parachute Canada).


Advise medically cleared patients to seek immediate medical attention if he or she develops new concussion-like symptoms or sustains a new suspected concussion. 

Level of Evidence:   

Tool 1.2: Concussion Recognition Tool 5. To help identify concussion in children, adolescents, and adults.