New post-injury protocol for children with concussions prove more beneficial: Study

6 Feb 2023 • A recently released JAMA study dated January 20th, involving more than 1,500 children backs the new approach - encouraging kids to return to school and light activity after only a couple of days of rest, even if symptoms persist as compared to previously followed protocol of keeping them out of school to rest in a quiet, dark room with reduced access to screens until they felt better.

The researchers analysed records from an earlier study of 1,630 children ages 5 to 18 who had been treated for concussion at nine Canadian pediatric emergency departments. There was an equal number of boys and girls, and the concussions were not limited to those caused by sports. Children missed an average of three to five days of school, with younger children on average returning to school earlier than older children.

The study showed “significant” associations between an earlier return to school and improved symptoms for kids 8 and above, and especially for those who initially felt worse. (There was not enough data for a finding involving kids ages 5 to 7.) It found that an early return to school — which researchers defined as missing less than three days — benefited children ages 8 to 18, who had less severe symptoms two weeks after their concussion compared with kids who stayed home longer.

The idea is to allow children to “maintain as much normalcy and routine as possible, obviously with academic supports and modifications when needed,” said Christopher Vaughan, a neuropsychologist at Children’s National Hospital in Washington who led the study. Source: Washington Post | Read full story

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