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All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine Works with Schools to Recognize and Address Concussions
St. Petersburg - August 11, 2014 - All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine is sharing a new video, Concussion: Return to Learning, with school districts and youth coaches to highlight the importance of recognizing and addressing the symptoms of concussion. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, concussion-related injuries increased by 60 percent in the last decade and U.S. emergency departments continue to treat an estimated 173,000 sports and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries in children and adolescents each year.
A team of Pinellas County physicians and school district leaders recently developed a return to learning policy which requires physical and cognitive rest before a student can return to their academic activities full-time after suffering a concussion-related injury. Many state athletic associations, such as the Florida High School Athletic Association, have return to play protocols which determine when a student athlete can return to the field after a sports injury, but return to learning policies are not mandated.
"Concussions symptoms can sometimes be hard to recognize, and can become even worse if a child or teen suffers a second impact because it could lead to lifelong problems," said Patrick Mularoni, M.D., Medical Director of Pediatric Sports Medicine at All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Whether the concussion is from youth sports or an activity such as bicycling or skateboarding, diagnosis and treatment is the first step to addressing a concussion. It's now increasingly important though for coaches and academic instructors to recognize the signs of a concussion in a student and allow them physical and cognitive rest before heading back on the field, and more importantly, back into the classroom."
"The return to learning policy provides key communication between the healthcare provider and the student's teacher," said Lori Matway, Pinellas County Associate Superintendent of Student & Community Services. "We want to make sure that teachers are not only aware of the symptoms of concussions, but able to provide accommodations for these students to ensure they have the proper amount of cognitive rest before returning to the classroom or taking high stakes tests, such as AP exams or SAT tests."
Many local schools and youth league teams in the Tampa Bay area plan to show the concussion video to their instructors and coaches during the 2014-2015 school year.
Visit www.allkids.org/concussion to request a free copy of the DVD or view the video online.