School medical professionals play an important role in the health of all students. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of concussion is important, as is managing their return to school post-injury. Here are some key facts:
- Some students may not experience or report symptoms until hours or days after the injury.
- Most young people with a concussion will recover quickly and fully.
- But for some, concussion signs and symptoms can last for days, weeks, or longer.
Each year hundreds of thousands of K-12 students sustain a concussion as a result of a fall, motor-vehicle crash, collision on the playground or sports field, or other activity. Most will recover quickly and fully. However, school professionals, like you, will often be challenged with helping return a student to school who may still be experiencing concussion symptoms—symptoms that can result in learning problems and poor academic performance.
Knowledge of a concussion’s potential effects on a student, and appropriate management of the return-to-school process, is critical for helping students recover from a concussion.
National Association of School Nurses
It is the position of the National Association of School Nurses that the registered professional school nurse (hereinafter referred to as school nurse) is an essential member of the team addressing concussions. As the school-based clinical professional on the team, the school nurse has the knowledge and skills to provide concussion prevention education to parents, students and staff; identify suspected concussions; and help guide the student’s post-concussion graduated academic and activity re-entry process. The school nurse collaborates with the team of stakeholders including health care providers, school staff, athletic trainers, and parents.
CDC’s Heads Up to Schools: Know Your Concussion ABC’s
Children and adolescents are among those at greatest risk for concussion. Concussions can result from a fall, or any time a student’s head comes into contact with a hard object, such as the floor, a desk, or another student’s head or body. The potential for a concussion is greatest during activities where collisions can occur, such as during physical education(PE) class, playground time, or school-based sports activities.
Signs/symptoms checklist This sheet is printable for school nurses or coaches to use when a kid has a possible head injury.
CDC’s Heads Up to Clinicians: video training
Heads Up To Clinicians: Addressing Concussion in Sports among Kids and Teens is the focus of a new concussion training program produced by the CDC Foundation with a grant from the NFL. The course includes information that will guide medical professionals in the diagnosis and management of concussions in youth athletes on the sideline, in the office, in the training room, or in the emergency department.
The five video modules include:
- Course overview and introduction
- Pathophysiology of concussions
- Diagnosing a concussion
- Management of concussions
- Preventing concussions