Your child has just been diagnosed with a concussion. As you take your child home to rest, you will need to learn all you can about concussions. Here are some helpful suggestions:
The Multi-Disciplinary Team Approach called R*E*A*P (Reduce/Educate/Accommodate/Pace) will walk you through the process of partnering with your child's school and Primary Care Provider (PCP) to safely manage your child's concussion. If your child was seen in a HealthONE Emergency Department, you will have received a copy of REAP there. If not, you can download the entire REAP manual from our website at: center4concussion.com. When the stress of this incident settles down, take a few minutes to read the REAP manual and share the book with your child's school and PCP.
When you get home, here is a list of things you can do:
- Call your child's PCP as soon as possible (if you haven't already) to alert them of the concussion.
- Make a follow-up appointment with your PCP or with a specialty clinic for sometime within the first week of the concussion.
- Decide when it is the right time to return your student to school. See the guidelines below:
STAY HOME - BED REST
If your child's symptoms are so severe he/she cannot concentrate for even 10 minutes, your child should be kept home on total bed rest - no texting, no driving, no reading, no video games, no homework and limited TV. This state should not last beyond a few days. But consult a physician if it lasts more than 2 days.
MAXIMUM REST = MAXIMUM RECOVERY
STAY HOME – LIGHT ACTIVITY
If your child's symptoms are improving, but he/she can still only concentrate for up to 20 minutes, your child should be kept home,but not on total bed rest. The child can start light mental activity (sitting up, watching TV, light reading), as long as symptoms do not worsen with exertion. If they do, cut back the activity and build in more rest.
TRANSITION BACK TO SCHOOL
When your child is beginning to tolerate 30 minutes of light mental activity, you can consider returning them to school.
As they return to school:
- Parents should communicate with the school (school nurse, teacher, school mental health and/or counselor) when bringing your child in to school for the first time after the concussion.
- Parents and the school should decide the level of academic adjustment needed at school depending upon:
- The severity of symptoms present
- The type of symptoms present
- The times of day when the student feels better or worse
- When returning to school, the child MUST be removed from all physical activity – gym classes, recess, dance classes – until medically cleared to return to those classes.
Your child will usually need some type of adjustment to their academic load when returning to school after a concussion. Talk with the school (counselor, nurse, school psychologist) to decide upon which academic adjustments are needed and for how long. Keep adjusting those mental demands until your child no longer demonstrates a need for them. Work in close partnership with your child's school.
For more information on concussions, go to: