Student athletes need break from school after a concussion, study claims

According to neurologists, kids who suffer concussions need to take a break – not just from sports, but from school as well.

A new study from Boston Children’s Hospital concluded that student athletes should avoid both physical activity and cognitive challenges for several days after suffering a sports-related head injury, the Boston Globe reported.

“Those experiencing severe symptoms may prefer to be resting anyway,” study co-author Dr. William Meehan, director of the sports concussion clinic at Boston Children’s, told the Boston Globe. “But those with mild symptoms may think they can go back to school or resume exercise right away, which may delay their recovery.”

For their study, Meehan and his team followed 335 student athletes who had been treated for concussions they had received while playing sports.  They discovered that the players who took the most time off from performing heavy thinking-related tasks had the quickest recovery from symptoms – such as nausea, dizziness, headaches and more.

The researchers did not specify the ideal amount of time players should take off from school and cognitive challenges, but they recommend that the first few days following a concussion are crucial for rest.

“For the first three to five days, we tell our patients with concussions that they should really aim to be at a zero level or complete cognitive rest,” Meehan said.

According to the Boston Globe, “cognitive rest” means refraining from homework, texting and playing video games.

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