After a concussion, kids often wonder when it is OK to play sports again. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cautions parents to help children ease back into learning, too.


After a brain injury from a blow to the head, youngsters can have symptoms such as headaches, blackouts, blurred vision, confusion, dizziness, stomachaches, sensitivity to light and noise, and mood changes.

Studies have shown that the injured brain might need to take a break from texting, video games, TV and school work. Your child’s pediatrician will be able to determine how much rest is best for your child.

Talk with your pediatrician about writing a detailed note to the school that explains how to help your child get back into the school routine. The school nurse can help carry out the plan.

Your child’s plan can include a shorter school day, if needed, such as a 30 minute block of learning followed by a 15 minute rest period. Some subjects may be more difficult than others for a healing brain.

Children with light sensitivity can wear sunglasses and avoid screens like computers, Smart Boards and videos. Those with headaches can take breaks in a quiet area like the nurse’s office. Students should not take standardized tests while healing, according to the AAP.

Jumping back into regular school routines too quickly can increase healing time, according to research. Most school-age children with concussions heal within three weeks, but results vary for each child, according to the AAP.

© 2013 American Academy of Pediatrics. This Parent Plus may be freely copied and distributed with proper attribution.