What is a Concussion
A concussion is an injury to the brain that impairs normal brain function. With proper treatment, most young people will recover from a simple concussion in two or three weeks. However, some students may take longer or suffer long-term effects.
Students may experience a variety of symptoms following a concussion. These symptoms may develop or appear to worsen with physical activity. Similarly, activities that involve a lot of concentration, such as studying, working on the computer or playing video games may increase symptoms. Therefore, limit all activities during recovery.
Carefully monitor students for potential difficulties in the weeks following a concussion. School staff should work with healthcare providers and parents to support a student who may need special accommodations during recovery.
Symptoms of a Concussion
Symptoms may vary from day to day or evolve over time.
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or balance problems
- Low energy or feeling run down
- Difficulty with vision (blurred, unfocused)
- Sensitive to light or noise
- Slowed auditory and visual processing
- Longer time required to complete tasks
- Trouble paying attention or concentrating
- Difficulty remembering
- Easily confused
- Inconsistent school performance
- Organizational difficulties
Behavior or Emotional
- Easily frustrated
- Depressed, dull affect
- Inappropriate or impulsive behavior
- Personality change
Remove the student from recess and physical activities where there is an increased risk of head injury, especially collision or contact sports, until cleared to participate by a healthcare provider. Participation in band, orchestra and choir should also be limited.
Classroom and Instructional Modifications
- Gradually transition student back to the classroom (e.g. student returns part-time at first)
- Reduce the amount of work assigned
- Allow extra time to complete work
- Check often for understanding
- Break learning into smaller, more manageable tasks
- Provide rest breaks during the day
- Reduce cognitively-demanding tasks (e.g. regarding test taking, computer use)
- Test using alternative methods
- Offer quiet room for taking tests to minimize distractions
- Seat student closer to teacher for easier monitoring and fewer distractions
- If light or sound sensitive, allow student to wear sunglasses or earplugs in class
Assist with Transition
Be aware that it is not unusual for students to feel isolated, frustrated and angry. Limited social activity or falling behind in schoolwork can cause anxiety. Students should talk with an adult they trust if they have these feelings.
View Concussion Care – Classroom Aspects Brochure