Kids need to lay off the brain work when recovering from concussions

Kids need to lay off the brain work when recovering from concussions

A new study finds kids with concussions may benefit from a break from the books.

Dr. Andrew Russman treats concussions at the Cleveland Clinic. He did not take part in the study, but says, "It's impossible to completely, mentally rest or avoid all mental activity after a concussion. But what you have to do is avoid those activities that make your symptoms worse, whether it's video games, television, reading, or schoolwork, trying to limit those activities to allow us to recover."
Researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia looked at nearly 350 concussed kids, whose average age was 15. Cognitive activity was monitored as they recovered.

Results show concussed kids who kept up a full schedule of cognitive activity took about 100 days to recover from symptoms, compared to 20 to 50 days for  those who did less homework, reading, or video games.

Researchers say the results support recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which pushes to allow students cognitive rest while recovering from a concussion because it may speed recovery.

Dr. Russman says it is important parents and educators understand how backing off on the books can help a child recover faster. 

He says "One of those recommendations that concussion specialists have had for a long time is that when it comes to school or school activities, or other types of mental activities, if we get symptoms we need to rest, recover, and then return to those."

Complete findings for this study are available online in the journal “Pediatrics.”