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Some Schools Are Unprepared to Deal With Student Concussions, Study Finds

Some Schools Are Unprepared to Deal With Student Concussions, Study Finds

When it comes to students with concussions, a recent study finds that some schools may not be as prepared as others.

The study, conducted in Ohio, “found variations in high school principals’ resources and management strategies for students returning to school after a concussion,” said an article on Reuters.com.

“We have a lot of guidelines for returning to (sports after a concussion), but we have no guidelines for returning to school,” Dr. Geoffrey Heyer, who led the study. “Returning to school is more important than returning to sports.”

Heyer and his team, the article said, “sent surveys to 695 public high school principals in Ohio in 2013 and 2014, to determine their knowledge, resources and policies related to monitoring and accommodating students returning to school after concussions.”

The study found that “less than half had taken a concussion-management training course,” the article said.

“About a third said their schools provided families with written concussion plans, but less than a quarter of the plans addressed potential academic adjustments and accommodations, the study found,” said the article.

Most principals, the article said, “were willing to provide students with short-term academic accommodations. And four out of five schools did have designated ‘case managers’ responsible for monitoring the academic progress of students recovering from concussion. Half the time, the case manager was an athletic trainer.”

“But when principals were asked if they could identify someone at their school who communicates with students’ health care providers after a concussion, nearly 86 percent could do so when the injured child was a student-athlete, compared to only about 79 percent when the student hadn’t been injured in a school sports activity,” said the article.

“We don’t encourage kids to be out of school for long periods of time,” Dr. Mark Halstead, a surgeon at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. “They get very behind, and then they get anxious.”

The study also found that of February 2014, “all 50 states have passed laws that address concussion education and practices in youth sports. In contrast, the implementation of educational protocols that optimize student learning and return to school after concussion are only beginning to gain momentum.”

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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