How Should Schools Treat Kids with Concussions?

How Should Schools Treat Kids with Concussions?

football-2-645084-mConcussions have been a big topic in the news in recent years. Many former professional athletes have armed themselves with personal injury attorneys in order to collect compensation for the serious and lasting side effects that came as a result of repeated concussions.

Now, more and more people are looking at the youngest athletes out there and how these hits to the head and heavy blows could impact them in the future. Among the studies being done, and the efforts to reduce the risk in areas like Saint Petersburg, there is also more information coming out about care after a concussion. Some of it points to commonsense solutions.

In Florida in 2012, legislation was passed which mandated that whenever a child suffers a head injury during athletic play, he or she must be removed from the game or practice, until given medical clearance by a physician. This came after more than a quarter of a million concussions were reported in a single year among high school participants.

The need to pull these young athletes from St. Petersburg is understandable; however, what may come as a surprise are the new reports which suggest mandatory rest after a concussion may not be the best approach for treatment.

There has been an ongoing controversy among medical professionals for some time regarding the best course to take with concussion patients. While the standard prolonged period of rest was recommended by most, there is now evidence that suggests that this could be more harmful than helpful.

For some time, those who supported the prolonged rest period pointed to a single study with results that showed players who did less mental activity after a concussion had faster recovery rates. A new study, though, shows a very different result. It suggests that a shorter rest period is just as effective as the longer one. In other words, pulling a student for two days is just as effective as pulling a student out for five days. It’s an important discovery, as it can reduce the amount of stress students face when returning to their normal routine thanks to less makeup work.

Some believe that there is a mental component at play as well. When doctors suggested longer rest period for recovery purposes, it led to the patient assuming the injury was far worse than if the doctor recommended just a day or two at home.

While the researchers did suggest that it might not be necessary to require kids to be taken out of their daily routine for such an extended period of time, they were also quick to state that a doctor should be very careful when giving continued care instructions to patients. While too much rest isn’t beneficial, neither is too little. Putting a child in harm’s way immediately after having suffered a concussion can result in a repeat injury.

Young athletes should be aware of the dangers associated with head injuries, and adults should err on the side of caution when it comes to dealing with potential concussion cases. Medical care is necessary, as concussions can lead to long term brain damage. His or her quality of life can be diminished before he or she is even old enough to appreciate it fully.

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