According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics children and teenagers who have had concussions have a poorer academic performance. When the child returns to school his or her results will be influenced by how serious the concussion symptoms are and the grade level of the student.
What concussion represents is an injury of the brain caused by a jolt, fall or blow to the head which made the brain and the head move back and forth quickly. CDC (the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says that most people who have concussions fully recover quickly, but in some cases the patient can experience the symptoms for a couple of days or longer. Such symptoms include balance problems, headaches, sleep problems, difficulty in thinking and remembering, anxiety and irritability. Those who are prone to experiencing the symptoms are usually old and young people.
Since children are more likely to experience prolonged symptoms CDC recommends school professionals to closely observe children who have experienced a concussion since their ability to perform can be altered. Previous studies have showed that after concussion students often show lack of energy, impaired concentration and slow processing speed.
The study was conducted on 394 students with ages between 5 and 18 and focused on their academic performance after the students had suffered a concussion. The students involved in the research were split into two groups: children who had fully recovered (31%) and children who at the time of the study still had showed symptoms. Both the children and their parents were asked to complete surveys regarding the academic performance.
The findings of the study proved that the severity of concussion symptoms was directly linked with the rate of academic problems in the case of all grade levels. 88% of the children who had fully recovered still had concentration problems, fatigue and headaches and 77% of the children in the same group had difficulty in taking notes and in studying for exams and quizzes and they also spent more time doing their homework.
The participants who were most concerned about their results were students in high school, which means that the problems in performance increased along with how demanding the work was.
Gerard A. Gioia, the main author of the study remarked:
“‘School systems need to be prepared to accept and support these kids heading back into classrooms before full recovery, which requires collaboration between medical professionals and school staff.”
Image Source: Vereen Center