With four kids who have played sports, we’ve had more than our share of concussions in the family. And one thing that was present in each was a problem keeping up with studies in school.

Their coaches wanted them back to play as quickly as possible, but we wanted to make sure that they were good to go in all aspects of daily life, especially school. It seemed like after a head injury, school work was a big problem — sometimes for a day or two — sometimes for a couple of weeks.

And that’s exactly what a new study in the Journal Pediatrics notes: school kids often have problems in school getting their brains to cooperate when it comes to studies. They followed close to 350 children ages 5 to 18 who suffered varying degrees of head injuries. Common among all were symptoms such as problems concentrating, headache, difficulty sleeping, poor attention span, and so forth.

What was different — the kids themselves. Meaning, all concussions are different, so the degree and timing of symptoms were not the same for any two children. And high schoolers had more problems than grade schoolers.

The study recommends that if your child suffers a concussion:

– They are followed by a medical professional

– The school is made aware of the injury — and be aware of symptoms

– Your child may need time away from school

– Your child may need a shorter day upon return to school

– They should be given a lighter work load upon return

– They should get extra assistance, both at home and school

– They should not be taking tests or exams

It’s important to once again remember all head injuries are different — symptoms are different — length is different — there is no “one size fits all“ treatment in the medical books.

Just remember, school is more important than sports. It’s your child’s brain we are talking about here.

Dr. Dave Hnida is CBS4’s Medical Editor. He blogs about the latest studies and trends in the health world. Read his latest blog entries, check out his bio or follow him on Twitter @drdavehnida


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