Concussion- When to Return to School or Sports
When to go back to school after a concussion is often a big decision. We now know that there are good reasons not to rush your child back to school.
In addition to delaying sports, video games, or any intense activities, and in some cases TV or phone use, the decision to go back to school after a concussion should not be made lightly. Most experts agree that children should be symptom free (no headaches, dizziness, fogginess, etc.) for at least 2 weeks. This would certainly apply to any concussion that involved loss of consciousness. Any person who looses consciousness after a head injury should be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible. If your child is vomiting more than once, or lethargic, you need to treat this as an emergency.
AAP experts say that research has shown that a school-aged student usually recovers from a concussion within three weeks. If symptoms are severe, some students may need to stay home from school after a concussion. If symptoms are mild or tolerable, the parent may consider returning him or her to school, perhaps with some adjustments. Students with severe or prolonged symptoms lasting more than 3 weeks may require more formalized academic accommodations.
The following article was recently released by the AAP-
Kids with concussions should ease back into school
Trisha Korioth, Staff Writer
After a concussion, kids often wonder when it is OK to play sports again. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cautions parents to help children ease back into learning, too.
After a brain injury from a blow to the head, youngsters can have symptoms such as headaches, blackouts, blurred vision, confusion, dizziness, stomachaches, sensitivity to light and noise, and mood changes.
Studies have shown that the injured brain might need to take a break from texting, video games, TV, and school work. Your child’s pediatrician will be able to determine how much rest is best for your child.
Talk with your pediatrician about writing a detailed note to the school that explains how to help your child get back into the school routine. The school nurse can help carry out the plan.
Your child’s plan can include a shorter school day, if needed, such as a 30 minute block of learning followed by a 15 minute rest period. Some subjects may be more difficult than others for a healing brain.
Children with light sensitivity can wear sunglasses and avoid screens like computers, Smart Boards, and videos. Those with headaches can take breaks in a quiet area like the nurse’s office. Students should not take standardized tests while healing, according to the AAP.
Jumping back into regular school routines too quickly can increase healing time, according to research. Most school-age children with concussions heal within three weeks, but results vary for each child, according to the AAP.
Paul / Dr. Paul