Iowa is rolling out new guidelines for supporting students as they recover from concussions.
Maggie Ferguson is the brain injury and disability program manager at the Iowa Department of Public Health. She says past concussion policies were focused on high school student-athletes and how long they should rest before playing sports again.
Ferguson says the new Iowa guidelines are for all school-age children and teens, and they shift the focus of concussion recovery to consider how a student’s academic performance is affected.
"We really want to make sure that students who have sustained a concussion--whether it’s at school or at home or in their community--are returning to the classroom and learning at pre-concussion levels before they’re returning to physical activity," Ferguson says.
The public health department partnered with the Iowa Department of Education to produce the new guidelines. The guidelines are voluntary, but Ferguson says they provide a structure for teachers, coaches and other school staff to support a student’s concussion recovery.