Roles and responsibilities of educators
Increasing Awareness and Reducing Risk
Most often, you will have students who have sustained a concussion outside of school, but it is important to know:
1. How to reduce the risk of concussion at school
2. How to deal with a student whom you suspect has sustained a concussion while participating in a team sport at school
Here are some suggestions to help reduce risk of concussion at school:
1. Ensure the classroom floor and playing environments are free of any clutter or hazards that might cause injury
2. Ensure that the proper equipment is in good condition and being worn correctly
3. Post a set of "concussion class rules" to inform the students, of its causes, symptoms and signs, and what to do if a concussion is suspected
4. Send home an information sheet for the parents/caregivers
5. Invite elementary school aged children to complete this word search activity. For students in middle and secondary school, this word search activity addresses signs and symptoms of a suspected concussion.
6. Take time to ask questions!
If you suspect that a student has sustained a concussion while participating in a team sport at school, it is important to take the right steps to deal with the injury. The Concussion Guidelines for the Teacher is a tool that can be used by teachers to deal with concussion.
Resources and Courses
Many concussed students find that attending school aggravates their symptoms, and may have to stay home and rest. It is not possible to know when symptoms will improve, as each concussion is unique. A specific return to school date may not initially be possible for the student, their parents, or doctor to provide. Once they feel better, they can try going back to school, initially part time (e.g. half days at first) and, if their symptoms do not return, then they can go back full time. Remember that mental exertion can make symptoms worse, so the student’s workload may need to be adjusted accordingly.
Following the physician’s recommendations is important to help the student return to school. Working with the physician/healthcare professional, athlete and the parents(s)/caregiver(s) to create a return-to-learn plan is important. The return to learn procedure must be individualized for each child/adolescent, and is much more complex that the return to play guidelines. Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, CanChild, Centre for Disease Control and Nationwide Children's Hosptial offer valuable resources for your consideration.
TD ThinkFirst For Kids is Parachute’s school-based curriculum program for children in grades K-8. Designed as a teacher's resource, TD ThinkFirst For Kids meets the curriculum requirements in all Canadian provinces and territories and is endorsed by Curriculum Services Canada. This program was developed by a multi-disciplinary team including teachers, curriculum experts, doctors, and neuroscientists and teaches children how to think first and play safely to prevent brain and spinal cord injuries.
On the fast track to becoming one of the most successful one-day injury prevention awareness initiatives in Canada, Brain Day is a national outreach program involving scientists, university students, community volunteers and thousands of school children from across Canada. Brain Day is a neuroscience-based education session that elevates students' interest in the human brain and nervous system and empowers them to always use their brains to protect their bodies.
The Active & Safe Ethical Decision-Making Game is a fun activity that gets kids thinking and working together by reaching consensus about real-life ethical scenarios.