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A recent look at data on patient visits for pediatric concussion in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Care Network, including primary care, specialty care, and the emergency department, reveals a 400 percent increase in patient visits since 2009. While it is unclear if these visits are due to increased recognition and/or an actual increase in incidence, it is critical that these patients and those who support their recovery, such as family and schools, understand the key elements of concussion diagnosis and recovery.
There is healthy debate in the scientific community about the ‘gold standard’ for concussion treatment, and emerging research is starting to identify distinctions between children and adults in terms of concussion recovery. One indisputable and stark difference is: the primary vocation for children and adolescents is school, in order to prepare for meaningful, full adult lives.
Therefore, when a child sustains a concussion of any severity, and begins his/her individualized process of brain rest and healing, it is crucial that the child’s medical team and his/her school team have excellent cross-communication about the recovery process. This includes the potential need for appropriate academic accommodations such as home schooling, in-school tutoring, partial days, and allowances for exams.
Towards the goal of better communication and support for kids recovering from concussion, on Saturday, April 6, 2013, CHOP will host the first annual Continuing Medical Education concussion course, “Diagnosis and Management of Child and Adolescent Concussion: A Primer for Primary Care Providers and Educators.” In addition, we have just added substantial new content to our Concussion Care for Kids website and organized the content to make it easy for the different types people who support a child's recovery to get the customized information they need-- whether you need to increase your concussion knowledge as a parent, school administrator, teacher, coach or health care provider.