Misunderstanding Can Make Returning to School More Difficult

Many times, parents with a child or teenager who has suffered a concussion are unsure about how long to keep them home while they are healing. Some may believe that a concussion gets better within less than 24 hours, while others may be fearful of their child resuming normal activities too soon.

What’s the best way to proceed with returning your child to the classroom?
There are a few potential barriers that often present themselves in these situations, explains Dr. Nancy Como-Lesko, Neuropsychologist, Children’s Specialty Group, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters Hospital.

“If it’s a younger child who can’t stay home alone and the parents and/or caregivers both work and don’t have childcare available, that’s going to be a real issue. The parents are going to want the child back in school. And it’s the same with returning to play, if the child is on a sports team. They don’t understand the need to rest and heal,” explains Dr. Como-Lesko.

Then there are parents and caregivers at the other end of the spectrum, who are afraid of their child at risk for a second concussion or severe brain damage.

Healthcare providers should educate and discuss the benefits and risks involved with their child returning to schools.

Resting is important, but a normal routine for a child is also important.

For more information on traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, contact the Virginia Department of Health at https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/injury-and-violence-prevention/ or the Virginia Concussion Initiative at concussion.gmu.edu.