Brain injuries in children can have many different effects on development and may result in lifelong problems and complex needs. It is important that if your child has sustained a head injury or suspected concussion, they have time to recover from their injuries and take some time out.
Returning to school after a head injury can be a difficult decision to make. Although you may be eager for your child to return to school and continue their education, it is also important to get the correct balance and ensure they don’t rush back to day to day life, as this can hinder their recovery and prolong their symptoms.
There are several stages you should work through to gradually build up to your child returning to school.
The first stage is to keep your child off school for at least one week following a head injury. Your child should get plenty of rest to help them to recover. This includes rest from watching TV, using mobile phones, reading or playing video games. Once symptoms of the brain injury are subsiding, your child should move onto stage two.
The next stage involves getting your child ready to return to school. This includes increasing their activity gradually and introducing reading and other activities which will help them get back to normal life. You should not overdo the activity, and only do things for a small amount of time (try 15 minutes slots to start off with to gradually ease your child into it).
At stage three you should begin to introduce your child back into the school environment. Depending on the severity of your child’s symptoms, stage three can last for days or months. You should start with a modified time table for your child to slowly get them used to the environment. Half days, or every few days may be a good idea. They should also have a quiet space within the school that they can retreat to if they become overwhelmed with anything. Homework should be limited to 15 minute time slots and only take 45 minutes in a day. Tests and stressful situations should also be avoided.
It is still important at this stage that your child gets enough rest, so ensure they get plenty of sleep. You should sit down with the school to discuss the different requirements your child may have, and get them to help arrange this and support them wherever possible.
Stage four is the penultimate stage and should be a close return to normal routines. This includes returning to school for full days (even if not for the whole week) and completing any homework set outside of school hours. If you find things are getting too much for your child, reduce the hours slightly, but try to keep as close to a normal routine as possible.
The final stage is returning fully to school, with full attendance to all classes, and taking part in all tests and homework activities. At this point your child should have recovered from their injury and be back to a completely normal routine.
If your child has sustained a brain injury, you should take the time to understand their needs and what is the best step for them. Speak to their doctor and put together a plan for returning them to normal activities, which should help with their symptoms.
At CFG Law, we are specialist child head injury solicitors and can help you to get access to the best treatment and support for you and your family. If your child has sustained a brain injury in an accident that wasn’t their fault, or even if they were partly to blame, we can help you claim compensation which will aid in their recovery.