August Q and A Concussions Part 7

August 24, 2016

Every 15 seconds, someone in America has a concussion, and 1.5 million people live with traumatic brain injury every day. This month, experts from the Rochester Regional Health Concussion Program will answer questions about concussions and why seeking treatment is so important. The Rochester Regional Health Concussion Program is the region’s FIRST program to treat everyone. Concussions are not suffered by just athletes, but any child, adult, or senior can be concussed at any time.

Question #7: What is the Return to Learn Protocol?

Answer: Students need to go through a particular protocol before returning to regular school activity. For student-athletes, this occurs prior to any consideration for returning to athletic activity.

Schools should have a policy in play to gradually progress a student back to normal school activity. Communication among the student/family, school counselors, nurses, teachers, coaches and the member of our concussion program team treating the patient is critical.

Stage 1: Cognitive brain rest – no school

  • Limit TV, video games, screen time, reading, and homework
  • Limit exposure to loud noises and large groups of people

Stage 2: Getting ready to return to school

  • One or two days prior to going back to school: gentle activities such as walking, 15 minutes of screen time, reading, and easy homework
  • If symptoms return, abort the activity

Stage 3: Back to school/modified activities

  • Return to modified school
  • Have planned breaks or plan to leave if symptoms occur

Stage 4: Nearly normal schools days

  • As symptoms improve, tolerate more and more activity each day
  • It’s OK to have setbacks, but recognize what brought on symptoms

Stage 5: Full School

  • Child should start to feel normal and able to tolerate normal day-to-day activities

Members of the Rochester Regional Health Concussion Program are available to consult with educators to ensure effective policies and protocols are in place.

The Rochester Regional Health Concussion Program is the region’s FIRST program to treat everyone. Concussions are not suffered by just athletes, but any child, adult, or senior can be concussed at any time. For more information on the Rochester Regional Health Concussion Program, visit our website.