North Vancouver School District
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Return to School & Sport

Accommodating students with a concussion is the responsibility of school boards, administrators, teachers and other school professionals. Students with a concussion require support and guidance to help them plan and organize how to reintegrate back into school.

Returning to School

After a concussion, a lot of ordinary things at school can bring back symptoms. Stimulation from other students in the classroom, loud noises on the playground or hallway, and the stress of school work can trigger headaches, nausea, dizziness and confusion.

The recommended strategy guiding a child or youth's return to school involves a step-wise process of engaging in (and tolerating) cognitive activity.

The general rule is that each stage (or step) may take 24 hours. If symptoms do not worsen and/or result in the development of new symptoms, the process continues. However, if concussion symptoms resurface, a return to the previous stage for at least 24 hours is recommented. If symptoms fail to improve or worsen, immediate medical help is advised. 

Learning Accommodations for Students Following a Concussion form is available on the portal. It is important to understand that each child and youth will react to  concussion differently. For some, recovery will be quick and uncomplicated. For others, however, we now know that healing takes a considerably longer period of time and can include other more serious complications such as slower processing, trouble with concentration and memory, sleep problems, anxiety and sadness.    

Returning to Sport

Recovery from a concussion and a return to play and sport follows a graduated, stepwise rehabilitative process. This involves an initial period of rest (24–48 hours) during which symptom-limited activity can begin.

Once concussion-related symptoms have resolved, a child or youth can continue to proceed to the next level if concussion-related symptoms do not resurface.

Generally, each step should take 24 hours and so a return to play and sport would take a minimum of 1 week to move through the full rehabilitation process once concussion symptoms have disappeared. This time frame may vary with player age, history, level of sport, etc. A child or youth should not return to play or sport until they have successfully completed a full return to school.