Getting back to school can mean getting back on the playing field for many kids. A new study published in the journal Pediatrics highlights the need to take conservative approaches to head injuries and concussions. The younger the child, the longer the recovery period should be. New guidelines include such advice as:
- children recovering from concussions should take a break from cognitive activities as well a physical ones – this may include a change in schoolwork;
- younger athletes should not return to the playing field on the same day as an injury even if symptoms clear; and
- multiple concussions may mean that a child needs to stop participating in contact sports.
Parents and coaches need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of concussion, many of which overlap and are related to physical, cognitive, emotional, and sleep issues. Headache is the most frequently reported symptom
Even though participation in team sports has declined by 13% over a ten year period, kids’ visits to the emergency room for head injuries has increased markedly. It is unclear whether this is due to more rigorous play or increased awareness of the seriousness of concussions in children. Concussions can be linked to long term problems related to developmental and cognitive function.