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Team Approach Urged to Help Students Who Suffer Concussions

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After sustaining a concussion, a student-athlete may need to be eased back into his or her normal academic routine, suggests a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The report, released last week, examines how a concussion can affect the learning ability of a student-athlete. By doing so, the medical association hopes to provide guidance to medical professionals, educators, parents, and student-athletes about proper post-concussion management.

Some of the signs or symptoms of concussions, including headaches and difficulty concentrating, have clear effects on learning ability, the academy says. Forcing a student-athlete to return to normal classroom routines immediately after sustaining a concussion could delay recovery from the injury, as cognitive rest is considered the best course of action.

When a concussed student-athlete returns to school, the AAP recommends the formation of a multidisciplinary team to help track the recovery progression: a "family team" (students, parents, guardians); a "medical team" (concussion specialist, neurologist, or school physician); an "academic team" (teachers, counselors, school nurses, and administrators); and a "school physical-activity team" (coaches, athletic trainers, and physical education teachers).

Most student-athletes will recover within three weeks, according to the AAP, but those with the most severe symptoms could be forced to stay home from school for a longer period.

Vol. 33, Issue 11, Page 4

Published in Print: November 6, 2013, as Team Approach Urged to Help Students Who Suffer Concussions
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