Research indicates that a concussion can have a significant impact on a student’s cognitive and physical abilities. In fact, research shows that activities that require concentration can cause a student’s concussion symptoms to reappear or worsen. It is equally important to develop strategies to assist students as they “return to school” in the classroom, as it is to develop strategies to assist them as they “return to physical activity”. The most recent research now indicates that prolonged rest until all symptoms resolve is no longer recommended. Without addressing identification and proper management, a concussion can result in permanent brain damage and in rare occasions, even death.
Research also suggests that a student who suffers a second concussion before they are symptom free from the first concussion is susceptible to a prolonged period of recovery, and possibly Second Impact Syndrome (a rare condition that causes rapid and severe brain swelling and often catastrophic results).
“Baseline testing is the practice of having an athlete complete certain concussion assessment tools before sport participation - usually before the start of a season - in order to get baseline or ‘pre-injury’ measurements. ‘The most current research indicates “Baseline testing is not required for post-injury care of youth athletes with suspected or diagnosed concussion and is not recommended.”
Due to the seriousness of a concussion, school administrators, educators (including occasional teachers), school staff, students, parents/guardians, and identified school volunteers all have important roles to play in implementing the school board’s concussion protocols, that is prevention, identification, and ongoing monitoring and management of a student with a concussion.