Many States Lack Plans to Return Children to School After Concussion

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Most laws focus specifically on athletes, however all athletes are students as well.
Most laws focus specifically on athletes, however all athletes are students as well.

HealthDay News — All US states have "return-to-play" laws designed to protect young athletes who've suffered a concussion, but as of May 2016, only 8 states had "return-to-learn" laws aimed at managing children's concussion recovery, according to a review published in Pediatrics.

The 8 states with return-to-learn laws include: Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Vermont, and Virginia. Only 2 states require any concussion education for school personnel — with both targeting coaches and/or nurses, and not teachers.

The findings highlight a gap, the study authors said, since some children who suffer concussions are athletes —but all of them are students.

"Some kids suffer concussions during recreational activities, others are injured in accidents," senior researcher Monica Vavilala, MD, told HealthDay. "They're not all athletes. But they are all students." Dr Vavilala is director of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center and a professor of pediatrics, anesthesiology, and pain medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. Washington was the first state to pass a return-to-play law, back in 2009.

Reference

Thompson LL, Lyons VH, McCart M, Herring SA, Rivara FP, Vavilala MS. Variations in State Laws Governing School Reintegration Following Concussion. Pediatrics. 2016 Nov 7; doi:10.1542/peds.2016-2151.

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