Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorThe emphasis after a concussion always seems to focus on “return to play.”

How soon is it okay to play sports again after suffering a head injury?

Athletics, athletics, athletics. Sure, its important — but not the sole concern.

Forgotten in the discussion is how to take care of a kid in school– a place where recovery from concussion can be long and frustrating.

One of the main treatments of head injury is “brain rest.” And that’s not just avoiding another hit on the football or soccer field.

When we take care of any concussion, the best treatment is allowing the brain to heal. And it heals by doing minimal work. That means reading, TV, smart phones. Computer work can all aggravate the symptoms of a concussion and delay recovery.

Send a kid back to the classroom too soon, and they won’t be able to keep up with the work, and the effort involved to keep up with the work can make them feel lousy longer.

Symptoms of concussions can last for weeks and can include:

– Headache
– Dizziness and feeling light-headed
– Blurred vision
– Noise sensitivity
– Light sensitivity
– Problems concentrating or remembering
– Sleep disturbances
– Fatigue: This is often the major issue.

Imagine trying to solve an algebra problem or learn a foreign language when having a headache, not being able to remember, and fighting off the noise and bright light of a classroom.

That’s why it’s not only important for doctors to be on top of the situation, but parents and school administrators as well.

A student with a head injury may need time totally away from school, and then slowly eased back in with a lesser workload both in the classroom and with homework.

The doctor, the parent and the school need to work together to aid recovery.

It’s not just the athletic field where a concussion need to properly addressed — and given the attention it deserves.


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