Concussions Require Careful Management

In recent years, increased awareness about properly treating sports concussion has helped standardize the rules around “Return to Play,” and kept student athletes from suffering permanent brain damage. Not true, however, with the ad hoc approach to returning them to the classroom.

Today, virtually everyone associated with the well-being of student-athletes — from parents and athletic trainers to administrators and teachers — has some idea about how to manage students who suffered concussion back to competition. But what are the rules for “cognitive rest” so students who have had a concussion can return to the classroom — able to read, take tests,do homework and participate in extracurricular activities?

The goals — be it returning a student to competition or to the classroom — are not mutually exclusive. Clear rules are needed for both; too much mental activity can prolong a student’s concussion recovery as much as prematurely returning to physical activity.

Read the rest of Dr. Summer Ott’s Op-ed for the Houston Chronicle.