Concussion Management

The health and wellness of students are important factors which influence learner achievement. The Maine Department of Education, in conjunction with families, educators, healthcare providers, and coaches, is committed to helping students prevent, manage, and recover from concussions.

School Staff & Administrators 

Students who experience a concussion may require some temporary modifications to school work as they recover. An uncomplicated concussion may require a recovery period of a few weeks. During the recovery time, a concussed student will need cognitive rest and a gradual return to full academic function. A team of healthcare professionals, including the school nurse, should work together to return a student to full academic function and activities. 

During the recovery period, a student may experience headaches, increased sensitivity to lights and noise, and/or temporary loss of focus or difficulty concentrating. If any of these symptoms occur during class, the student should be sent to the school nurse for assessment and follow-up. The following resources will assist you in working with students who have experienced a concussion. 

Forms and Tools 

Child Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) 5. (PDF, 809KB) Use this standardized tool to evaluate concussion symptoms in injured children, ages five to 12. 


SCAT 5 for Adults. (PDF, 907KB) Use this standardized tool to evaluate concussion symptoms in injured athletes, ages 13 and older. 


Concussion Signs and Symptoms Checklist, CDC School nurses may use this form to document details related to a head injury. 


Symptom Log School nurses may use this tool to assess a concussion over time. 


Sideline Assessment. Coaches can use this concussion assessment for injuries incurred during a game or practice. Courtesy of Concussion Vital Signs 


Academic Accommodations for Students with Concussion  This checklist should be used if a concussed student needs accommodations in the classroom and should be part of the school team decision process. 

Training 

Maine Concussion Management Initiative has trainings located here in Maine. 


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide the following short podcasts to help the public learn more about concussions: 


Know the Facts: Understand Concussion. This podcast provides information to help people better understand concussion. 


Taking Care After a Concussion. Learn about proper recognition and response recommendations. 


What You Need to Know About Concussion. Discover essential facts about concussions, including symptoms, danger signs and ways to recover and heal after a concussion.  

Resources 

Concussions in the Classroom - Upstate University Hospital, Syracuse, NY 


Return to Learning Following a Concussion - American Academy of Pediatrics 


What's a Teacher to Do? - article and resources. 


Heads Up to Schools: Know Your Concussion ABCs. Learn the ABCs of concussions: A-Assess the situation  
B-Be alert for signs and symptoms and C-Contact a health care professional. This page offers multiple resources related to students returning to school after a concussion. 


School/Academic Expectations During Post-Concussion Recovery. These guidelines can be followed in the absence of specific directions from the treating healthcare professional. 

Students and Families

School districts in Maine are required to inform parents about the district concussion policy and protocols for managing concussive and other head injuries in the school setting. Educational opportunities and resources for families and students are available. 

What is a concussion? 

traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way the brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to quickly move back and forth.  

 

Healthcare professionals may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, their effects can be serious. 

Resources 

Maine Concussion Management Initiative for Parents: Science, education and community working together to prevent and manage concussions. 


US CDC Heads Up website helps parent recognize, respond to, and minimize the risk of brain injury. https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/index.html 


When to Seek Medical Attention. A clear guide describing concussion symptoms and when to call the doctor. 


In this podcast for kids, the CDC Kidtastics talk about concussions, including how serious they are, symptoms, what to do if you think you have one and tips for preventing them. A Bump on the Head for Younger Children.  


This list of frequently asked questions may help you, your school or your league prepare for concussions both pre- and post-season. Frequently Asked Questions About Baseline Testing Among Young Athletes.  


Concussion in Youth Sports Training. The CDC provides this free, online, 30-minute course available to coaches, parents and others helping to keep athletes safe from concussion. 


Keeping Quiet Can Keep You Out of the Game: A Mother’s Story. A short video offering a mother's perspective on concussions. 

Concussion Prevention & Control. Learn what you can do to prevent concussions. 


Protect the Ones You Love from Sports Injuries. Prevention tips for parents and guardians. 


Taking Care After a Concussion. This podcast describes how to take care of a person after a concussion, including proper recognition and response recommendations.

Contact

Emily Poland, RN
School Nurse Consultant
Coordinated School Health Team Leader
207-624-6688
Emily.Poland@Maine.gov