My student has a concussion. What is the recovery process?

A concussion is a medical event and the recovery starts at home and continues in the school setting. The recovery process includes resting the brain followed by a gradual and well-managed return to activities—learning and playing.

Children and adolescents tend to experience a longer recovery than adults. On average, an adult takes about 7 to 10 days to recover, whereas many students will take 2 to 4 weeks to heal, and most (about 85%) will fully recover within 3 months.

The recovery process involves balancing the student’s activity level so they don’t do too much or too little. It is a fluctuating process where the student can be doing well one day but not the next.

The recovery period may be influenced by many factors including:

  • Prior concussions
  • History of headaches or migraines
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mental health issues
  • Family or social supports
  • ADHD

A Return to Learn Plan which monitors a student’s symptoms and addresses issues such as workload, breaks and assessment works best.

What is the return to learn protocol?

Returning to activities such as completing school work, socializing, participating in physical activity and using technology should be done gradually. A Return to Learn protocol can help manage the gradual re-introduction of cognitive activities while allowing the brain to heal. The Return to Learn protocol is a stepwise protocol that can be used to guide a student back to school following a concussion.

Return to School - PDF

For more information on using the Return to Learn protocol, take the Concussion Awareness Course for School Professionals.

Children and adolescents take 2 to 4 weeks to heal on average