The following recommendations are standard for all students who suffer from a head injury and are designed to help speed up recovery. Your careful attention to them can also prevent prolonged recovery and further injury. The typical recovery period for a concussion is 7 to 10 days. More information available here.
- Avoid physical activity—you should not participate in physical education or sports participation until you are headache free for one week. This includes weight training, running, exercising and heavy lifting.
- Get lots of rest. Be sure to get enough sleep at night – no late nights. Keep the same bedtime on the weekdays and weekends. Drink lots of fluids and eat carbohydrates or protein to maintain appropriate blood sugar levels
- Take daytime naps or rest breaks if you feel fatigued or the onset of a headache
- Limit activities that require a lot of thinking or concentration. These activities can make your symptoms worse. This may include limiting class work, homework and job related activity. Avoid prolonged computer use, video gaming, television watching, text messaging, telephone use.
- During recovery, it is normal to feel frustrated and sad when you do not feel right and you cannot be as active as usual.
- Seek re-evaluation as your symptoms will help guide recovery.
Because recovering from a concussion can be a gradual process and school work continues while recovery is taking place, it is necessary for students, parents and school personnel to be aware of and consider the following symptoms that a student may demonstrate during recovery:
- Increased difficulty paying attention or concentrating
- Increased problems remembering or learning new information
- Longer time needed to complete tasks or assignments Greater irritability, less able to cope with stress
- Headaches and fatigue that worsens when doing school work
These symptoms are normal, to be expected, and temporary.
Physical Activity and Sport Participation
It is important to avoid all physical activity, in school and out of school, in particular any physical activity that carries a risk of head injury. The likelihood of sustaining a second head injury is greater during the recovery phase of a concussion. Rapid or early return to sports and play puts you at risk for Second Impact Syndrome which can lead to severe and possibly lethal outcomes. Therefore, it is necessary to follow these recommendations for returning to sports/play:
- You should NEVER return to play if you have any concussion symptoms (see above). This includes symptoms at rest and while doing any physical or mental activity. Be sure the PE teacher, coach and athletic trainer are aware of your injury and ongoing symptoms.
- It is normal to feel frustrated, sad and even angry because you cannot return to sports right away.
As with any injury, a full recovery will reduce the chances of getting hurt again. It is better to miss one or two games than the whole season.
Requirements for Academic Accommodations During Recovery
- Medical evaluation and side two of this form is completed by student’s physician
- Parental authorization for school nurse and medical advisor to exchange information with student’s physician
- Student has not been cleared to resume game play/athletics) or other contact/strenuous physical activity.