Helping children and adolescents with their concussion care and returning to school, play, sport and daily life activities requires the support of many. As a teacher, you have an important role to play! The information below is based on the Living Guideline for Diagnosing and Managing Pediatric Concussion. If you are a teacher who has never had a student with a concussion, use this information to build your knowledge. For teachers who have had a student with a concussion, use this information to advocate for the care and support the student may need.
To download the Teacher’s Guide to Supporting a Student with Concussion, click here.
1. BE AWARE OF SCHOOL’S POLICY ON CONCUSSION
Find out what the concussion protocol and policy is at your school. If your school does not have a protocol or policy, talk to your administration about putting one in place.
2. KNOW ABOUT CONCUSSION AND WHAT TO DO
If a student has a significant impact to the head, face, neck, or body and reports any symptoms or shows any of the visual signs of a concussion, you should suspect a concussion. Find out more about concussions and signs to look for here.
A student returning to physical activity (e.g. Phys Ed class, intramural sports) too soon after a concussion can lead to another injury. If you think the student has a concussion:
• sit them out
• contact the parents immediately
• recommend that the student be seen by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner as soon as possible
3. UNDERSTAND THE STEPS INVOLVED IN RECOVERY
Every student’s experience with concussion is different. The student’s healthcare provider can advise on what supports might be needed in the classroom to help with return-to school.
Steps to return-to-school and sport can happen at the same time. It is important that the student return-to-school full-time at a full academic load (i.e. writing exams without accommodations in place as a result of the concussion) before completely returning to full-contact sport or high-risk activities.
4. COMMUNICATE WITH STUDENT, FAMILY, AND COACHES
Have ongoing conversations about concussion symptoms, medical management and recovery so that you can best support the student through the concussion recovery process. If you notice that the student is developing new concussion-like symptoms or sustains a new suspected concussion, recommend that the student be seen by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner.
Looking for resources? Click here to find our list of resources for service providers.