As classes get underway this fall, 14-year-old Tyler Casto is hoping this year goes a little more smoothly than last year. A snowboarding accident left Tyler with a concussion; and his mom was in shock about what recovery would mean for her son.
"I had no idea," said Liz Casto, Tyler's mother. "I had no idea he would miss so much, so many sports and school. It was a month of school work we had to make up."
Liz's reaction is not uncommon. In fact, many teachers are surprised that the effects of a concussion can linger for several weeks. But some feel a team approach to helping these kids can be most effective.
"The doctor's the expert for the medical side of things, but educators are the ones who can really take the reigns on this and really help get those students through this really rough time," said Steevie Carzoo, an athletic trainer at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
To help them do that, Carzoo and a team of concussion specialists at Nationwide Children's Hospital developed this: one of the first and most comprehensive concussion tool kits available. It not only has information for parents and coaches, but also teachers and even school administrators.
"We realize every school has different resources," said Carzoo. "So it helps assign roles to each of the members in this process and what their responsibilities are."
Teachers, for example, can help identify symptoms day to day, counselors can help make accommodations for the student to help them cope, and administrators can communicate between families and staff to chart a child's progress.
After recovering from his symptoms, Tyler is back to normal, and his mom is grateful there is a one-stop-shop for dealing with kids and concussions.
"I would love for coaches to know, for teachers to know, and people that have no idea," said Liz.
This comprehensive tool kit has already been sent to more than a thousand schools. To download it, just head to www.nationwidechildren.org/concussions.
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