Head’s up: how to transition your child back to school after a concussion

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Returning to school this fall means returning to sports for many student-athletes. Unfortunately, this also means an increased risk of sports-related injuries, specifically concussions. Concussions are most common from falls and can manifest themselves differently in different kids. Symptoms from confusion to memory loss and light sensitivity can last weeks or months, and the invisible nature of the injury can make coordinating treatment between medical professionals, parents, and teachers difficult. 

Susan Davies, a professor of psychology at the University of Dayton, stresses the importance of a gradual return to activities and good communication between parents and school staff. She encourages individualized treatment for each case based on symptoms and pre-existing conditions and advocates for open and honest discussions about a return to school plan for children with head injuries. 

Every concussion is different. Some children may bounce back to regular activities in a few weeks, while others may struggle in school for several months. The solution to treating these diverse injuries is to be attentive to the child’s daily condition and make sure to indicate the previous concussion on all medical forms so coaches can do everything to prevent another one in the future. There is no sure-fire way to prevent injuries in sports, but treating them properly when they do occur can make all the difference.

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