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Important News for Student Athletes: Removal from Play Crucial for Post-Concussion Recovery

Important News for Student Athletes: Removal from Play Crucial for Post-Concussion Recovery

For student athletes, going back to school also means getting back into the game. After a string of particularly deadly seasons in high school football, some new information about post-concussion recovery is important for student athletes and their support to know.

New research indicates that not only could continuing to play after suffering from a concussion a potentially fatal move, it could take the sufferer twice as long to recover.

"The finding, published in the journal Pediatrics, is believed to be the first to focus on one of the most difficult social challenges of treating concussions: a pervasive sports culture that encourages young athletes to keep playing through pain,” says The New York Times.

"The latest study tracked the neurological symptoms of 69 athletes who visited the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program after suffering head trauma during a contact sport. The athletes, who ranged from 12 to 19 years old, came from football, soccer, ice hockey, volleyball, field hockey, basketball, wrestling and rugby.”

The findings indicate that it should be a national focus to reduce the pressure student athletes feel to keep going even after suffering from head trauma.

They also emphasize the importance of getting the message out that taking “immediate precautions” following head injuries is crucial to the recovery process.

"Resting immediately in the 24 to 48 hours following a concussion (and then slowly returning to normal activities under the supervision of a physician) reduces the possibility of further stress on the system and allows brain cells to heal faster so that athletes can get back to their sport more quickly,” The New York Times said.

This information is relevant off the field, as well.

A survey from Children's National Health System found that most children who suffer from concussions are concerned about their school performance as they recover.

60 percent of recovering sufferers "were moderately or very concerned about the concussion affecting school learning and performance, compared to 16 percent of recovered kids and 30 percent of their parents,” the survey found.

Sufferers reported taking longer time to get homework done, having headaches that interfered with focus in the classroom, and feeling tired more easily throughout the school day.

Read more about the latest information about student athlete head injuries here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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