Concussed young athletes should stay out of classroom, study says

(WJLA) - K.K. Raffensberger is already home from school.

Her classmates remains there but K.K.'s day ends early as it has since last April, when she got a concussion while playing lacrosse.

“I thought it wasn't that wasn't that hard and I thought it was just a bump on my head and I'd be better by next game and the doctor's told me I'd be better by next week,” she says. “I just never got better.”

A new study just released by the American Academy of Pediatrics stresses the importance of cognitive rest, giving the brain a break after a concussion.

In severe cases, kids should stay home from school, as it’s difficult and perhaps dangerous for them to focus on schoolwork.

“When the brain has an injury, it needs to be rested and so just like a broken arm needs to be set and rested in order to heal up, the brain in the same way,” says Dr. David Reitman.

That means no TV, no computers or texting and limited reading or school work.

K.K.'s case is extreme, but her doctors believe her brain is still not healed.

Her mother says educators need to be aware of the need for this rest after a head injury.

“Schools have big policies on their website about returning to play,” her mother, Julie Raffensberger, says. “There should also be policies about returning to academics and they should be on a parallel track.”