Concussions and Kids
Kids who have had concussions need mental and physical timeouts in order for the concussion to heal completely. A recent study claims that a kid with concussion requires 3-5 days of mental time out for the brain to recover.
A concussion, or traumatic brain injury, may be caused by a bump or blow to the head. The trauma may be caused by different accidents such as sports mishaps. About 67,000 hospitalizations and more or less 6,100 children’s and teens’ deaths are to be blamed to traumatic brain injury each year.
Concussion symptoms may include memory loss, confusion, mood swings, or fatigues. These symptoms can be visible immediately or can happen several days after the injury.
Research shows that kids who do brain-stimulating activities immediately after the injury took longer to recover compared to those who take mental rest for a few days or weeks. Brain-stimulating activities may include reading books, doing homework, playing video games and even watching television.
If possible, a child with concussion should keep his mind relaxed and use it less often for a few days. No reading, homework or any schoolwork for at least 5 days. It is also ideal to avoid surfing the Web, listening to loud music or even texting. The energy of the brain must be spent on recovery rather than on these mental activities. Introduce easy brain activities after a few days. But if any of the concussion symptoms (such as fatigue and confusion) reappears, let the child rest for a few days.
Getting Back to Normal Activities After a Concussion
It is vital for parents to determine when the child is ready to resume normal school and sports activities after a brain injury.
If the child can focus on academics without experiencing any symptoms like memory loss, headache, fatigue, or confusion, then she may be ready to go back to school or sports activities. Let her take it slowly. Talk to the teacher and request half-days or extended examination time.